The Greeks were at their wits’ end. They had camped outside the firewalls of Troy for weeks now and yet had not been able to hack their way through. Unrest was rife among the Greek developers, and some were even sending their resumes to the Managing Director (MD) of Troy Inc., Priam, and its CEO, Hector, requesting placements.
The Greek MD, Agamemnon, was not a happy man.
“Cowards and traitors!” he snarled during a meeting of the board of directors. “They seek employment within the very organisation they seek to breach!”
CEO Odysseus tried to soothe Agamemnon. “It happens,” he said. “And let’s face it, your attempts to take over Troy has nothing to do with them...”
“What do you mean?” the MD’s brother, Menelaus sprang up in rage. “That son of their MD, Paris… he came to my house for dinner and how did he repay my hospitality? By running away with my designer notebook. He even stole the back-up disks. And my multi-player game cheat codes. Today, a Greek laptop sits on the meeting tables of Troy! And you say that this has nothing to do with our developers?!”
“Ah, sir,” spoke the wise Nestor, Chief Advisor to the MD. “If only you had not argued with Achilles, we would have taken over Troy a long time ago.”
“I am his MD,” Agamemnon said angrily. “He is just a consultant. OK, a damn good consultant. But...”
“But,” finished Nestor. “That still did not give you the right to confiscate his MP3 player for playing music during working hours.”
“Rules are rules...,” Agamemnon muttered sulkily.
“Still,” insisted Nestor. “We need Achilles. Give him back his MP3 player. He can hack through any server. And he has never forgiven Hector for defeating his friend Patroclus while playing Counter-Strike.”
“True,” said Odysseus. “But defeating Hector won’t be enough. We need to get into the Troy server.”
“Tell me something new,” sneered Agamemnon, peeved at being asked to return Achilles’ MP3 player (which he had been using rather liberally). “That’s what we have been trying to do for ages.”
“Wait, I have it!” cried Odysseus. “Menelaus, does not Paris have a weakness for online gaming?
After all, that was why he stole your notebook.”
Menelaus burst into tears. “Yes,” he blubbered. “I had just upgraded its hard drive and added a new graphics card. The swine just unplugged it and took it away. He even stole the carrying case! He loves horse racing games in particular!” Fresh sobs shook his sturdy frame.
“Take heart, Menelaus,” said Odysseus. “For therein lies the means to get within Troy’s firewalls.”
“Pray how,” said the still irritated Agamemnon. “Do you propose to open up a cyber cafe outside Troy, offering free online games to all? My budgets will not....”
“Oh no, ” smiled Odysseus. “We will simply cease our attempts to hack the Trojan firewalls..urk!” His statement ended abruptly as Menelaus grabbed him by the neck and started squeezing.
“Let him speak, Menelaus!” Agamemnon bellowed. “We have enough problems on our hands without killing each other. Go ahead, Odysseus.”
“What I had in mind was a software that we could send as an attachment to an e-mail to Paris. The mail would say that we would allow him to keep Menelaus’s notebook (Menelaus began to protest but was expertly silenced by Nestor, who slipped a mouse into his mouth). The mail would also contain a horse racing simulation as a token of our goodwill—a game so addictive that Paris will want to challenge other players over the Troy network. But the moment he logs into the network from within the game, he will activate a hidden virus that will corrupt the firewalls of Troy.”
“Amazing!” cried Agamemon. “Odysseus, you are a genius. Let’s get cracking on this. Meeting dismissed! Menelaus, stop eating that mouse!”
As the executives moved away, Agamemnon took Nestor aside. “Do you think it will work?” he asked his advisor.
“Well,” said Nestor. “It will require a lot of skill. It is also utterly unfair, deceitful and unethical. So yes, it should work.”
“Make sure that the developers get everything they need. This must succeed!”
“Of course, Agamemnon. I know how badly you want Troy.”
“Not just that. I do not want to return that MP3 player to Achilles!”