There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. – Ecclesiastes 3:18 (NIV)
The #1206 “fiction” series continues …….
On a cold, dark night in an office lit by a single Banker’s lamp, he sat at his desk, quickly but unhurriedly cleaning up a few odds and ends.
Years of preparation and execution had come down to these final moments and his eyes scanned the information before him as he checked to make sure he had not missed anything. Growing his network, penetrating the most elite cliques in the world and promoting his message had come down to these final points of execution and he wanted to make sure that nothing was left to chance.
Encrypted files of critical importance had been distributed around the world as well, awaiting the message that would both alert its owner as well as equip them with the ability to unlock its contents.
What would happen next depended on whether the recipients of the information chose to use it to create a better world or to destroy it.
Their choice wasn’t his concern. His job was to distribute the information securely, arrange for its release and then move on. Historians, if any survived, would offer many theories about what had happened and while history may be written by the victors, such adages assumed that any would be left standing.
He had watched with amusement over the years as various agencies and their targets had played cat and mouse, hiding information, discovering it, hiding it again and so on, each trying to outdo the other in an effort to win some meaningless prize. While nations had spent billions of dollars in technology and PR self-promotion, they appeared to have missed a key strategic point - that the harder they tried to protect themselves against the perception of ever-increasingly complex issues in the world, the more vulnerable they left themselves to more simple approaches. They had become so distracted by their game of cops and robbers that awareness of the real threat had eluded them.
His eyes scanned the screen before him to ensure that the content displayed was accurate and scheduled properly. Clicking on the submit button, he waited for confirmation that all was in place and then he powered off his laptop. He unplugged it, flipped it over, removed its hard drive and tucked the drive in his pocket.
Three blog posts had been scheduled to be released, posts which by the nature of their content would attract a broad range of readership around the world. But they served another purpose unbeknownst to those who would delight in them, be angered by them and would thus share them with others as a result.
His blog was the ultimate one-time pad, providing the keys to unlock the encrypted data that had been distributed around the world.
“Things hidden in plain sight are often the most difficult things to see”, he thought as he turned off the light, leaving him sitting in total darkness. All that remained was notification to specific readers that the one-time pad was nearing completion.
He stood up, walked carefully to the window and gazed up at the stars in the cold, dark night as a text message was being sent to thousands of cell phones around the world.
Its message was simple and innocent:
Auto msg delivery: 3 blogs remaining. Thanks for subscribing.
It was the time of the season.
To be continued.
© 2014 – Harry Tucker – All Rights Reserved
I mused about the use of one-time pads and their use in encryption in this #1206 Series story – National Security – Arming Both Sides.
This series, a departure from my usual musings, is inspired as a result of conversations with former senior advisors to multiple Presidents of the United States, senior officers in the US Military and other interesting folks.
While this musing is just “fiction” and a departure from my musings on technology, strategy, politics and society, as a strategy guy, I do everything for a reason and with a measurable outcome in mind. :-)
This “fictional” musing is a continuation of the #1206 series noted here.