Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold

by Valnour

I had a bully in my freshman year of high school.

He wasn't much of a bully, though, being a few inches shorter than me.  He did have about 60 pounds on me, but that was about it.  At the time, I first began reading 2600 and other hacker publications, and had been using Linux at home exclusively for about two years.  I was beginning to identify with the hacker world, but very much considered myself a Padawan without a Master.  I am sure many of you can identify with me at that age and, looking back, I was a big nerd on top of all of this.

The bully of mine was a real loser.  He was a script-kiddie at best, and after seeing some of the books I would bring to class (Learning Perl, The Art of Intrusion, Hacking: The Art of Exploitation) he started to tell me about the "exploits" he and his "gang" had discovered.  This was in a keyboarding class, in a computer lab with about 30 computers.  All of these computers were running Windows 2000 (or possibly XP), and all of the exploits that he had apparently "discovered" had been patched years ago.  This guy was a real lamer.  He wasn't so much a bully as a horribly annoying experiment in verbal abuse.  He said that he and his gang of hackers had stolen credit card numbers, broken into ATM machines, and had even gotten into the school's network on multiple occasions.  This guy couldn't type, couldn't read, could barely talk, and had never heard of Linux, *BSD, or any other OS besides Windows.

I was also taking a class entitled "Cisco Networking" with a friend of mine who was a big Windows nerd.  He's the kind that was on the fast track to a MCSE, and he was also the only student in school that I could semi-relate to about computers.  He had shown me the "net send" command, and had accidentally sent a blank message to every machine in the school.  To those unfamiliar to Windows, this command makes a dialog box appear on a computer in your network, with the IP (or maybe it was the hostname) of the originating machine, along with a message.  Being a trusted student, he did not get in trouble for this, and was actually rewarded for discovering this ability.  Apparently the system administrator at our school had never seen this command, and began to use it quite frequently.

One day, I entered my keyboarding class and was greeted by the teacher and a new seating arrangement.  Awesome.  I would no longer have to sit by the lamer, and could catch up on my reading after my keyboarding lessons were completed.  But I was not that lucky, he began to harass me via "net send" and this was just too much.  I had to take some sort of action.  I had to do something to this kid to get him off my back.

Every computer in the lab had the hostname and IP address of that particular computer printed on a label that was placed on the back of the computer just above the power supply.  The IP was something like "" and the hostname was "LAB-10-0-2-25".  This uniquely identified the lab number (2) and computer (25) associated with each IP.  Also, each computer had a wide open share that allowed the student to exchange documents with the teacher.  This share was also readable and writable by every student in the class on every other student's computer.  I'm not sure what the purpose of that was, but it was probably unintentional.

My revenge on this poor sap was immature and unnecessary, but it was so much fun.  I wrote a small script that would send a message to every machine in the school that said "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!!!! MR. (name of system admin) SUCKS!!!" and would then delete itself.  I read it a couple of times, but was unable to test if the script worked.  I accessed his network share, and uploaded the script.

The next day I got to class early.  Being unfamiliar with Windows, I did not know if it was possible to execute the script from another machine, and have the message reflect as though came from his machine.  So I logged onto his computer before he got there and scheduled the script to run 30 minutes later.  I then walked back to my seat and logged on.  A few minutes after the instructor's lesson started, a message popped up on my screen.  It was from the bully's IP and it contained my message.  I looked around and it was on the monitor of every other machine in the class as well.  A moment later, the system administrator and principal came storming into the door.  They checked the IP of every machine, and discovered who the culprit was.  They hauled off the bully and gave him a week's suspension.

Justice was served.

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