Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why hackers cannot survive in Singapore

I remembered watching a scene in a Hong Kong drama series “Net Deception”, where a hacker (or cracker to be exact) played by HK actor Wong Hei was intruding a system using his laptop in a café. Apart from the unethical actions of the cracker, that scene looked cool though.

Now imagine, transfer the entire scene to Singapore. Cracker Mr C was hired to intrude a certain company’s system. Knowing that the local ISPs are always very cooperative in revealing customers’ information, Mr C decided to perform his cracking at a café instead. Afterall, the much celebrated success of the island-wide Wireless@SG had made his job much easier, he thought to himself.

So Mr C, sitting in a café sipping his favourite ice mocha, slowly opened his laptop and waited for the bootup and internet connection.

“In ten minutes time, I would be able to intrude the system.” Mr C let out a confident smile as he thought about it.

But alas, Mr C got a shock as he turned his face towards his laptop screen. The words “limited or no connectivity” was shown when his laptop was connected to Wireless@SG.

“Nevermind, there’s another café across the street.” Mr C kept his cool, packed up his laptop and slowly walked towards the other café.

Luckily, the Wireless@SG internet connection at the other café was alright. “Nothing can stop me now.” Mr C smirked while he quickly connected to his target system and launched a brute force attack at the first layer password system.

“Shit!!!” exclaimed Mr C, when the internet connection dropped after a mere 2 minutes. After several tries, Mr C was finally convinced that the internet connection could not sustain continuously for more than five minutes.

Again, Mr C moved to yet another café, only to find that the speed of the Wireless@SG connection was comparable to that of a 14.4Kbps dialup connection.

Not accepting defeat, Mr C tried out a few other cafés and fast-food restaurants, only to encounter the same problems. Finally, with some divine intervention, Mr C managed to find a café with proper and sustainable Wireless@SG connection. Mr C let out a relief sigh, and just when he wanted to launch his attack, his laptop was shut down. Apparently, his laptop had run out of battery after running for a few hours without any AC power supply. Mr C changed his job the next day.

P/S: This post is written after several frustrating experiences with Wireless@SG.

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