Final Victim (1995)

Final Victim (1995) by Stephen Cannell

Book: Final Victim (1995) by Stephen Cannell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stephen Cannell
Washington, so I have to leave tonight." And then he looked up and saw Claire watching through the window. Her expression told him that, without hearing, she knew what he had just said.
    The den was small, but there was a nice French Provincial desk where they set up the laptop, unpacked the large monitor from its box, and connected it. Malavida attached the modem and, when Karen was not looking, he slipped a disk out of his tool kit into the laptop, and typed a quick sequence, starting a logging program which would lur k i n the background and save everything that was typed in. The last thing he did was unroll his favorite poster: Snoopy, with his straight-line smile, in his trusty red biplane, scarf flying. He taped it to the desk in front of him. "Good-luck charm," he said to Karen. "We're set up now, but first we need to log into a host computer. How 'bout the one at U . S . Customs in D . C .?" he asked. "If you have a local dial-up, we won't stick Lockwood's ex with the phone bill."
    "Good idea."
    "You know the login password and the access codes?"
    She sat in front of the terminal and then looked at him. "It's confidential. You'll have to turn your back or, better still, go stand across the room."
    "Sure." He got up and moved to the far side of the room and looked out the window. " 'Cept for dream furloughs, I only got outta Lompoc once last year and that was for my appeal, which was denied. It's good to be on the outside," he said, looking out on the tree-shaded street.
    "Dream furloughs?" She looked at him; his back was to her.
    "That's where you dream you're out of prn. . . . It's a freedom dream. It's not as good as this, but it's better than nothing." While he talked, she typed in the local phone number to access the U . S . Customs dial-up. The modem beeped out the Touch-Tones and the screen said:
    CONNECT 57600 uscs6 login:
    She checked to see if Malavida was still looking out the window. He seemed lost in thought. She entered her username, "redwltch," and password, "67930*M"; then the screen said:
    U . S . CUSTOMS COMPUTER NET, WASHINGTON, D . C . WELCOME redwitch
    "I'm in," she said.
    He turned from the window and crossed to her. He didn't yet know what he would do with it, but his keyboard logging program on the diskette had secretly copied her entire login procedure. He could now access the Customs computer anytime he wanted, with her login and password. He sat down at the terminal and faced the screen.
    "Okay, what's this remailer called again?" he asked.
    "Pennet."
    "You got the address?" He closed the keyboard log. As she retrieved the address from her purse, he popped the diskette out and slipped it into his pocket. "Okay, let's use the Customs computer as our host. . . ."
    "But we've been locked out of Pennet from that computer," she reminded him.
    "Won't matter. We're going to telnet to another account that I have. . . . That way, the Pennet computer will be reading an account which is not banned by their telnet. They won't see the Customs computer at all, even if they finger us."
    "Okay," Karen said, and wiggled in her seat with excitement. She knew a finger program was a tracer, an identification program.
    "Do we have ignition?" He grinned at her.
    "We have ignition." She smiled back.
    "Snoopy is cleared for takeoff," he said. He telnetted to one of his accounts:
    Telnet redbar3 . C c . R utledge . E du Trying 192.168.43.127 . . .
    And then:
    Connected to redbar3 . C c . R utledge . E du Escape character Is 'Ar
    SunOS UNIX (redbar3)
    login:
    He typed "snoopy" and his password. When he was logged into his own account, he telnetted to Pennet at the Internet address:
    rIng2Ice . A non . P ennet . N o
    Then it gave its greeting, now familiar to Karen:
    Connected to ring2Icesanon . P ennet . N o Escape character is 'AY
    SunOS UNIX (rIng2Ice)
    login:
    "Instead of trying to crack it right off," he said, "let's just get on the system first and go for a low-level program like a new users' menu." "Whatever that

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