Compromised Compromised

08 May 2023 - by: Darkwraith Covenant

Curi015’s eyelids hung heavy with sleep deprivation, blinking to clear his vision. His hyper-focused engrossment in his work had derailed him from his track of time. He glanced at his hacked Casio watch, a vintage calculator model that he had modified with a Bluetooth radio, an RFID transmitter, and 8 gigabytes of storage. The 7-segment LCD display showed “6:15. 5-29-23”.

Curi015 had pulled another all-nighter in his room, writing code in his family’s tiny 2-bedroom Bronx apartment. He had kept himself awake with energy drinks and spicy snacks from the bodega, working on a project that would make headlines and shake up an entire industry. His mom called in Spanish through the cheap, thin wooden door asking if he wanted breakfast.

“Okaaay!” he yelled back in English through that old brown hollow core door, still covered in band stickers from his teenage years. He rose from his shabby black faux-leather executive office chair, where his cat Plague had left claw marks, twirling his curly black hair between his fingers. He was known as Curi015 in the hacker world, a name he had used since he was 16, but his real name was Bernardo Gonzales Ramirez. His friends and family simply called him Bernie.

“Bernardino!” she called out his childhood nickname in her trademark lilting way, elongating the last vowel. “I’m leebing to work, I lahb ju mijo.” He heard a heavy security door slam shut, then she was a ghost, leaving behind a stillness in her wake. He managed to crinkle his nose and crack a smile at her voice, which used to annoy him when he was younger, but now he found it amusing and endearing.

He devoured his food with a peculiar urgency, as if he expected someone to take it away from him. Maybe it was a habit from a childhood marked by scarcity, when his mother juggled multiple jobs and attended school to feed him and his sister Mari during the 2008 financial crisis that hit his family especially hard. His father was a firefighter who died when one of the towers fell on 9/11, bereaving his loves.

He had asked for a PC for his 8th birthday — and for his 9th, and his 10th — but didn’t receive one until he was 11. His mother had managed to save enough money to buy him a used computer and monitor from a pawn shop where her friend worked. He had transformed that computer into a hypervisor server loaded with various pen testing tools, honeypots, and virtual machines, stripped of its case and nailed to the wall in his closet. It was a powerful weapon that could launch cyberattacks on any target he chose, or defend his network from intruders. It also doubled as a Quake server.

He checked his Proton mail and gulped down the last morsel of his breakfast, scratching the plate with his fork. The first message on the page had a bolded subject with the words “It’s done.” Stress hormones pumped through his body, thickening his blood with anxiety. It reminded him of the time during the pandemic when his building’s belligerently drunk superintendent ran through the halls, threatening to evict anyone who stopped paying rent. A tiny knife slit through the silence with an enthusiastic mouse tap. The email sent from the address read as follows:

Phase 1 is complete. We ul’d the pkg you sent with the goods we asked for and it worked. The fac is compt, and ops are underway at the time of this writing.   
We found everything we needed on subject A through OSINT on birdsite. Dumbfuck also uses the same un everywhere. We were able to SocEng his wife and get his sec questions that way.  

Deadass easy money.   

Check your wallet for payment, as agreed upon. We’re doing it!  

Hack the Planet, Fuck Bitcoin, and Fuck NFTs,  

Md5: e8b05901d4254f4dfd7e527b5e073f5d  
SHA-1: 88ac5c687a260b565b5ad5e5d3569640043483a3  

P.S. Watch for headlines this morning. This gun b gud  

Bernie opened his Monero wallet with a nervous tremor and gasped involuntarily at the amount. His mother, a hard-working nurse and a member of NYSNA, had no clue that her son, a college dropout and a C student who hardly ever left his bedroom, was now worth $250,000. He had initially declined payment for the job that Chani, the sender of the email, had offered him. But he had changed his mind, thinking of his mom, whom he loved dearly despite his constant irritation with her, and whom he wanted to give a better life. He had grown to truly despise money and the people who existed solely for the pursuit of profit, like that drunk superintendent, or the man at the bank who had denied his mom for a loan on a modest condo. He had also come to hate scammers who preyed on vulnerable folks with little money, like the ones who tried to scam his mom for computer technical support. Thankfully she had strongly turned them down, telling them that there was no way they were going to be better than her son at fixing her computer.

She had asked him where he was getting his money for all the computer parts and gaming systems he was buying. With his eyes nailed to the tile floor, he had lied to her like he always had about his illegal activities. “Its just this computer programming stuff I’m doing freelance, like for the web and um like on youtube and stuff.” His eyes furtively darted around the room, hoping she’d buy it.

“That’s great mijo!” She beamed. She never stopped being a proud parent, even though he had failed in school, relationships, and success. She still remembered the letter from his 3rd grade teacher, who said her son was gifted and far ahead of his peers in math and science.

“Guys, I got paid today for the big job. I can’t say more but, holy shit I feel rich lol 🤯. I hope yall pulled all of your money out of BTC 😹.” he typed into the Discord channel on the server he and his friends frequented. One by one, the small community of hackers and makers came together like the vibrant threads on a cascading loom, weaving together and falling like a colorful waterfall, as they congratulated Curi015 on his success.

”duuuude, based” “yessss” “whoa congrats” “🔥🔥🔥”, the Discord sound notifications bla-dooped in a rapid-fire, staccato succession. Before he could even relish in the applause, his face-down phone rattled on his desk with a new notification. He picked up the phone, and saw a headline on his news app that would forever live on in infamy. “Largest US Bitcoin mining facility destroyed in apparent eco-terror attack. Losses in the billions.”

He took a moment to absorb and process what he had just read, put down his phone, sat back in his chair, and stroked Plague’s fur. That was me, he thought.


darkwraithcoven darkwraithcovenant @josedelara5334 darkwraithcovenant#5991