Man vs. Computer

10. července 2017 v 0:11 | smartly |  papaj Popeye
Malá ukážka, ako by mohla vyzerať moja tvorba zo špionážneho prostredia, keby sa mi všetky tie nápady chcelo niekedy spísať. V živote som nečítal žiadnu špionážnu detektívku, a tak to asi aj bude vyzerať. Možno objavujem už dávno objavené. Navyše je to po anglicky. No čo už, snáď aspoň jednej duši sa to bude páčiť. Ja som sa pri tom celkom vyblbol :D

NOSA - National security agency of Aqualandia (something similar as CIA in the USA). Also a place of the plot.
N12 - National security agency of Relandia, i.e. the adversary of NOSA. Relandia is an ancient enemy of Aqualandia.
Gamma - counter-espionage unit of NOSA.
Hanssen - counter-espionage unit of N12.

Code S - One of the emergency modes of operation in NOSA. When NOSA is under Code S, it means it is under presumption, that at least some layers of security and encryption on electronic communication have been breached. As a result, all officials, agents and operatives have to meet *personally* to assign work and review progress, like in the old prehistoric times. That has, of course, its drawbacks. It is time- and resource-inefficient, but most of all, it poses a security risk. As meeting in person means there are less effective mechanisms for preserving anonymity. Of course, all agents and operatives are wearing Scramble suits at each meeting, but even Scramble suits represent a security risk compared to electronic communication. There are for example algorithms that can identify a person solely based on his way of movement, to name just one risk of many. Of course, there are many precautions to avoid identification even in electronic communications. For example, agents have to obey a Code of Writing at all times, which has many rules aimed at avoiding exhibiting distinctive personal signs, like for example overusing of certain words or phrases, names, cultural references etc. All writing has to be strictly generic and unattributable. The Code of Writing also regulates rules for password security, untrusted channels etc. etc.
Code A - Normal and desirable mode of operation.
Scramble suit - A suit worn by NOSA agents and operatives under Code S and Code P conditions, i.e. when they have to meet personally. It conceals agent's visage, voice and even sex. It is designed to keep agents anonymous to each other, so that they cannot reveal the other agent's identity to the enemy, either intentionally, or unintentionally. It is also a precautionary measure to make any identification attempts by the enemy (including abduction and torture of agents) useless. Most of all, it keeps the hierarchy structure of NOSA concealed even under Code S/P conditions and gives agents a sense of security. (Inspired by Scanner Darkly).
Class-B - code name given by N12 for auxiliary operations, i.e. operations of non-primary interest
PI - person of interest

"We don't know of course how many agents they have in NOSA at this time, but from the number of proven captured agents in the last 5 years, compared against the grow factor and Konejkov's index, we have an estimate that there may be as much as 30 Hanssen agents in the Gamma unit alone. If that is even remotely close, that is a terrible figure, Fred, terrible!"
Fred's face was very focused and serious. He was all ears.
"As it means, that we have a 0.06% chance, that I am talking to a Hanssen agent right now."
Now Fred started laughing. "Of course, Roger, I was already Hanssen agent when I met you at primary school fourty-seven years ago!"
"Maybe you were.", Roger looked at him suspiciously. But Fred didn't bite it. He knew Roger better than his own wife. That is, if he had any.
"Oh, common, Fred, you are no fun to talk to *at all*.", Roger waved his hand in disappointment. "But back to business. Hannsen tried to circulate similar numbers in some of our communication channels. Obviously, they want to seed global paranoia and distrust among our agents. I had to assemble high-ranking officials and assign them as a priority to explain to their subordinates that there is heavy propaganda ongoing and that they can of course dismiss such pathethic lies!"
Roger coughed angrily. Then he lowered his voice. "If only they *knew* how close this is to the truth... If anyone finds out... We will become completely inoperable in a matter of *days*. Especially now, when we are under Code S, every single agent out there in the field would be asking to be released from duty immediately. So I assign it to you personally, Fred, as a priority, to tend to it that everyone is absolutely certain to not believe those fucking... lies. You understand me?!"

"Also, about Code-S. It still remains in effect, until *I* and *I only* decide otherwise. And I want to make it absolutely clear for everyone! I am tired of listening the same complaints all over again and again. Fred, listen.", Roger lowered his voice even more, "There are certain hints that the alleged breach of some of our encryption protocols was just a mislead spread intentionally by Hanssen to, exactly, force us into Code-S. But I am not rescinding back to Code A until we are absolutely sure about this. And I am *definitely* not having a debate about it with officials two or even three levels below me, however smart they think they are. Is that clear?"

There was a brief silence.
"Is it just me, or are we getting our asses kicked lately, Roger?"
Roger had an intense urge to hit the table hard with his fist, but he remained composed. "We are not losing, Fred. In fact, we have scored a jackpot lately. That's also the main reason, why I summoned you."
"Have you ever heard about neural networks?"
"That is some sort of algorithm?"
"Kinda. Let's just call it Cristopher Columbus of computer programming. Because that's what it will be once it reaches full potential. Okay, Fred, here is the thing. We found out, that Relandia is waaaay ahead of us in neural networks. They are already applying the technology successfully, whatsmore, they use it in N12 admissions. You know the recent sharp drop in our penetration rates? We believe this technology is to blame!"
"How come?"
"It is almost infallible. Yes, it gives a lot of false positives, but it certainly gives almost no false negative. You are not honest? You are not going to be admitted. In addition to regular factual and background checks and interviews with experienced security service counter-agent officials, there is now this fucking computer, that is monitoring and evaluating every little aspect of your behaviour during the interview..."

Roger took a sip of coffee. Fred was focused intently. "We do not have the algorithm yet. But it certainly is a neural network. That means, it is a self-learning algorithm. The more input it has, the more exact, and perfect, it is getting. After few months in service, it is scoring pretty high. Way beyond what humans can do, in fact. Now you have to cheat not only people, but also this fucking-damned comp-", Roger coughed, "-mputer, and you cannot honestly beat that beast. Because it evaluates microseconds, the cameras notice every single tiny movement of your face, of your hands, your breath, temperature, eyes, mouth, sweat, everything! It notices little hesitations, tiny and unnoticable by human brain. That is terrabytes of data for each interview. And it is a self-learning algorithm. That means it learns and develops all the time, and all this beast eats, all it needs to develop, is just input data. All they need to do, is to feed it information, which input was 'positive' (i.e. a suspect agent) and which input was 'negative' (i.e. considered clear). Based on this information, it searches for similarities among the positives, all by itself. The more and more data you feed it, the more precise and exact it gets. It is a beast! If either the human interviewers, or the computer, flag a suspicion, you are denied access into the institution for life."

Fred whistled approvingly. "And you call this a jackpot?"
"Yes. We had no idea they used computers for flagging suspect agents. We had even no idea neural networks could be used this way. In fact, there was not a single file on a single table anywhere in this building here in Salwen Town or anywhere else, that would even contemplate about possible use of neural networks for counter-espionage. Now *all* we need to do, is to either steal the algorithm, or reproduce it. Do you see the score now?"
"I certainly do. Good job indeed! How did you find about that?"
"Now you wouldn't believe in a hundred years!" Roger took another sip. "You know RKP scheme, right?"
"Yes I do."
"A double encryption that their class-B agents use in field operations communication. It consists of PGP-encrypted data sent via a regular private VPN connection. Now one of our agents was on his mission sitting in a van, eaves-dropping some random PI, when he noticed there is another encrypted communication nearby. It showed signs of RKP scheme, thus he forwarded it to his superior for possible inquiry. It turned out it was indeed a RKP scheme! By some miracle from heaven there was a Hanssen agent somewhere nearby, sending data over the same communication channel! Could you believe it?", Roger laughed.
"Unreal! That is absolutely... I don't know, Roger, sometimes I believe in God...", Fred sneered in disbelief.
"But only sometimes, right?", Roger sniffed disapprovingly.
"Sure, sure."
"Because there is only three people, I believe in, Fred. Those are Roger Walton, Me and Myself."

"Anyway", Roger continued, "It turned out...", he seemed to be fighting something, perhaps a laughter?, "...turned out they were using one of the known keys from our database of known Hanssen encryption class-B PGP keys!" Now Roger burst in tears, half laughing, half coughing. "Could you believe that, Fr-!", lost his voice, instead tapping him heavily on his shoulder.
"Incredible, just incredible...", Fred agreed. "It's getting better and better. So... what was the Hanssen agent doing there?"
"Just some class-B stuff in a local IT tech company. Our operating agent almost dismissed it as a false lead, it just made no sense why Hanssen would try to infiltrate some unknown private owned IT company. But it raised suspicion. He could not get it out of his head. So he inquired about the company. After a lot of work, he found out the company recently got some government funds for a primary research in neural networks..."
"Bingo." Roger was playing with an unlit cigarette in his fingers. "And from here on, as you can see, the barrel started rolling. You know I only give you fish once its fully roasted."
"You do, indeed."
"So that's how Columbus discovered America. All credit goes to Hanssen."
"Wow. Just wow. I am speechless. It has almost the feel of... you know, some Antic comedy. Or tragedy. Depends on who's looking."
Roger noded approvingly. "And this comedy will be your top priority from now on. I want my agents back in N12 asap!"
"Yes, Sir!"
Fred left and Roger lit the cigarette finally. He always respected his friends.



1 Platan Platan | E-mail | Web | 22. července 2017 v 10:46 | Reagovat

Pekné aj keď špionáž nepatrí medzi moje najobľúbenejšie témy. :-D

2 smartly smartly | Web | 22. července 2017 v 21:31 | Reagovat

[1]: Neboj raz bude aj romantika :D

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