Chapter 444: We do not accept your surrender!
Work had ended at the Internet Surveillance Bureau.
"It's time to call it a day. Everyone has worked hard for the past two days. Go home and rest well now." Dong Zhiqiang came into the office to announced an early release for today. Then, he went to look for Zhang Ye and laughed as he said, "Teacher Zhang, you may go back too. You don't need to report here anymore starting tomorrow. The matter you are assisting us with has already been approved and with the Panda Burning Incense incident, the top management won't be asking about you anymore."
The reason he was here was only symbolic and right now, he had completed what he was needed here for.
Zhang Ye smiled, "Sure, let me treat everyone to dinner."
Dong Zhiqiang did not accept and said, "How is that alright?"
Zhang Ye stood up and said, "Although it's not even been two days, I feel that I've been very welcome here. Now that I'm leaving, I definitely need to buy everyone dinner."
Fang Xiaoshui, who was already very hungry, said, "Ah ha, if Teacher Zhang says so, then I won't refuse."
Meng Yi also chirped, "Teacher Zhang is rich, we don't need to help him save."
"Right, choose anywhere you'd like." Zhang Ye gave a wave of his hands, full of generosity.
Dong Zhiqiang did not refuse or say much. He instructed two people to stay stay on duty as the rest marched out of their office with Fan Yingyun following behind too.
The snow had not stopped, but had lightened.
As tiny snowflakes drifted down, some falling onto their faces. It was a soothing feeling.
Fang Xiaoshui was still in her police uniform. It was not known what the rules were for the Internet Surveillance Bureau, but Meng Yi and Zhang Er were also in their uniforms, while the rest were in casual clothes. Amongst all of them, Fan Yingyun was the most striking and stood out from the rest. A short haired beauty in a police uniform. As they walked through the street, she attracted a number of gazes from passers-by, with a very high head-turning rate. Several students who were on the streets trying to light some firecrackers stopped when they saw Fan Yingyun, as they all looked over at her.
Fan Yingyun just looked straight ahead as she stepped on the soft snow covered streets in her leather boots. It made a crunching sound with each step she took.
"We've finally finished our work." Zhang Er said.
Meng Yi said, "Today's such a day of relief."
An old cyber-police said, "Yea, those Koreans have finally been dealt with."
Fang Xiaoshui said as she walked, "This incident blew up. I wonder how much they'll lose economically, hundreds of millions in US dollars at least, I would assume?"
"Hundreds of millions? That might not be right." Dong Zhiqiang was also more relaxed and less uptight since he was out of uniform. He casually mentioned, "An estimate of a few billion is already on the low side, do you know what age this is? It is the age of the modern internet. Who doesn't use a computer? Which company doesn't need computers? If it were personal losses, it might still be OK. At most you'd lose some data and have some delays. but to those corporations and the government, this virus infection would be considered a disaster for them. If they carry on allowing the Panda Burning Incense to wreak havoc like this, if the Korean authorities do not quickly resolve this issue, the Korean economy might even be set back by several months! Just think about that, how could it be just losses in the hundreds of millions?"
Fan Yingyun interrupted, "Are there any leads on that '2'?"
Dong Zhiqiang shook his head, "No, there's no sign of him at all. We only know that he is a Chinese citizen and has pretty good literary skills. As for his gender.....that's also unclear. He was very covert in what he did and his technical skills are very high too. There was not a lead that we could follow. The leaders have already had a meeting and I understand that they have discussed about '2' already. I'm guessing that '2' will be our mission for the next few days and our objective is to find him. Even if he did not cause our nation much damage, he did cause quite massive hysteria around the world. He targeted the Korean internet and destroyed it, causing great economic losses. That in itself is already considered an act of terrorism. A dangerous person like that who can easily destroy 20-30% of computers in a country, not only is he Chinese, but he might also be living within China? Who's not to be fearful of him! That's '2' is a ticking time bomb!"
Zhang Ye looked at the snow, not saying a word at all.
The Internet Surveillance Bureau people were discussing, even the passers-by were doing the same.
A couple, who was walking towards them, just discussed this matter too.
"I heard that slightly less than half of all the computers in Korea have been infected by a virus!"
"How can that be? That's too many."
"It's true. Didn't you watch the news? It's already been reported."
"Ah? That serious?"
"Seems like it. There aren't even many computers that can even use the internet in Korea right now. I spoke on the phone with one of my friends who is studying in Korea and he's telling me that Korea is in a state of chaos right now. There are so many people who can't get online, from internet cafes, shops, education sectors, and many corporations have all stopped work. They have all been affected by the Panda Burning Incense virus. The author of that virus appears to be a Chinese citizen."
"What a fierce person!"
"Haha, that's great! That bunch of Koreans should have already been taught a lesson long ago! They attacked our websites without any good reason? And even stole and took over our celebrity accounts? Let's see if they still dare to come now! Having been taught such a bloody lesson, I think they would want to take a detour the next time they see us! The Sino-Korean hacker war seems to be a joke now. A war, my ass! We just had one hacker represent our country and it was enough to wipe all of them out! It wasn't even a battle! It was a massacre!"
"My hero too! When I have the chance, I want to brush up on my computer skills too. If I can have just 0.1% of the skills of '2', I would be happy enough, and if there's another hacking battle in the future, I want to take part too! Glory for our country!"
This was how a majority of people felt.
By now, all of society was discussing the Panda Burning Incense virus.
"We're here." Dong Zhiqiang pointed to the front.
Zhang Ye saw the place and smiled, "You're helping me to save money, aren't you?"
Dong Zhiqiang chuckled, "As long as it's delicious, the price doesn't matter. We usually come here to eat anyway and it's quite good. The taste is just right."
The restaurant wasn't big, about a 100 meters square. It was a Shabu-shabu house.
When everyone saw the place, they felt the hunger coming on. After entering, they immediately ordered some dishes without holding back.
"I want a plate of mutton!"
"Give us five plates, there are so many of us."
"I want two plates of fatty beef and a plate of prawns!"
"I want tofu. Oh right, it's a cold day today. Teacher Zhang, you want some Erguotou?"
Meng Yi had just finished asking when Fan Yingyun interrupted, "Teacher Zhang drove here today, why would you ask him if he wanted Erguotou? You have such low awareness."
Meng Yi, ".....Hai, I forgot."
Zhang Ye laughed, "It's alright, I'll have some."
Fan Yingyun waved her hands, "Forget that. You should just have warm water." As she said so, she stared at the male waiter, who was stealing glimpses of her, "What are you looking at me for, pour us some water."
The waiter was startled, thinking that this beauty was really too fierce. He hurriedly said, "Ah, OK, OK." and reactively poured the water for Fan Yingyun.
But Fan Yingyun pointed, "Pour it for Teacher Zhang first."
"Uh, OK." the waiter obeyed her.
"Hey, thanks." Zhang Ye held his cup up as he said to the waiter and also, Fan Yingyun.
Everyone from the Internet Surveillance Bureau's First Department who looked at how thoughtful Fan Yingyun was towards Zhang Ye felt rather uncomfortable at her new found politeness. You're so good to Teacher Zhang, but so terrible to everyone else. Isn't this some sort of discrimination!? But thinking about it, Teacher Zhang Ye was definitely more talented and on a different level with them computer "brutes", so they didn't feel too bad anyway.
The dishes were served.
Everyone started eating.
There was a news broadcast on television which was fixed overhead.
"According to reports, the Panda Burning Incense virus infection is spreading further in Korea and has affected more and more users. We interviewed a member of the China Malware Protection Center and understand that this is a worm virus, but not the usual ones that we have encountered in the past. It is a very destructive virus and spreads very quickly. What's even more alarming is that this worm virus has as many as 100 variants now. It can be considered as the most destructive worm in the history of worm viruses. Just based on the number of systems it has infected already puts it in unprecedented territory!"
Panda Burning Incense!
Panda Burning Incense!
The entire world was frowning because of it!
The media, the news, online, all of them were reporting about it!
Halfway through the meal, Dong Zhiqiang's cellphone rang. From his expression when he answered the call, it was probably a leader from the Internet Surveillance Bureau or Public Security Department calling "Yes, yes...I understand. I will return immediately!" He hung up and stuffed a few more pieces of mutton into his mouth, "We have to go! We can't go home as we just received new orders. The Panda Burning Incense has appeared in a northeastern province and there's a small scale invasion of the systems there. Upper management has issued an emergency notice for us at the Internet Surveillance Bureau to go back to help control the situation. We cannot have a repeat of what happened in Korea happening here!"
Zhang Er said, "It's only a few hundred computers, isn't that making a mountain out of a molehill?"
Dong Zhiqiang looked at him, "This is the Panda Burning Incense virus we're talking about. If it spreads, are you intending to watch our nation become the next Korea?"
When they all heard these words, all of them panicked!
Even if '2' had configured the virus to only attack Korean language based systems, it was still the Panda Burning Incense virus they were talking about. A worm virus that had crippled the Korean internet!
"Teacher Zhang, you should be going home already."
"We have to rush back now."
"Let's meet again if you have time."
Everyone said goodbye to Zhang Ye.
Fan Yingyun also showed a face of unwillingness to leave.
Of course, Zhang Ye did not need to follow along. He wasn't an employee of the Internet Surveillance Bureau anyway. Seeing them leave, he helplessly shook his head and looked at the dishes on the table. Well, he could only help himself to all of them then.
The other side.
An anonymous person suddenly joined the temporarily chat that JIN had set up. Without anyone's invite, he had made his way into the secure chatroom.
Anonymous User: "Little JIN, do you know who I am?"
JIN was stunned, but replied soon after: "Yes."
Anonymous User: "Sort out the mess that you created. Talk to '2' to see if there's a way to settle all of this without affecting everyone."
JIN: "How should I communicate with him?"
Anonymous User: "Apologize or whatever, I don't care. You better settle this soon. The country's losses and effects on society have already surpassed your imagination!"
Jen: "Apologize? That's impossible"
JIN: "Jen, don't interrupt. That's a senior."
The anonymous user ignored Jen. He said: "Don't feel bad. If you lost, you lost. Just work harder on your technical knowledge in the future. There's always a chance to win again. This is a good chance for you to reflect on what's holding you down. This person '2' is currently being investigated by the government as well. The warrant for his arrest is currently only active in Korea, but in a few more days, he should be wanted all over the world by authorities. As long as he reveals his tracks from now on, they will definitely be able to get him. The mess he created is too big and everyone in the world is paying attention to what he does. He won't be able to escape. What you need to do right now is to appease him first so that this incident can come to a halt and the virus to be cleaned out. There's still a lot of time for you to do something about it in the future!"
JIN: "I understand."
When Zhang Ye got home, he took a bath to release all of the stress built up from his day at 'work'. After inputting so many lines of code, his hands did not feel like they belonged to him anymore. Although the virus did not need to be programmed from scratch and was only modified from the original source that he had retrieved with his Memory Search Capsules. He had bought several memory search capsules to retrieve his memories of the code for the Panda Burning Incense back in his world to see how the attacking codes were written. All of this had taken a toll on him.
Suddenly, something happened online!
When Zhang Ye switched his computer to check, he realized that the webpage that the eighth variant redirected users to had been hacked.
Before, the webpage had the words "We will not attack! Unless we are attacked!". But now, another line of words had been added to the bottom of it.
It was JIN's message!
A lot of people saw it as well!
YOYOT (USA): "JIN has appeared!"
TOM (UK): "Haha, let me take a look too."
Fujiwara (Japan): "Why did he appear to speak?"
47 (USA): "He was probably forced to. I suppose someone pressured him into doing so since the Koreans have been hit badly by this Panda Burning Incense!"
Over at the China's Internet Surveillance Bureau.
Fang Xiaoshui, who was currently solving the issue from the virus infection, suddenly said, "Hey, everyone take a look. The Korean hacker has appeared! It's the leader of that hacker team, JIN!"
Meng Yi said, "What?"
Dong Zhiqiang also went over, "Show me!"
Everyone went over and surrounded Fang Xiaoshui. Only Fan Yingyun did not move.
Zhang Er asked curiously, "Officer Fan, why aren't you seeing this?"
Fan Yingyun smiled coldly, "JIN? He's just a small fry, what's there to see about him. I'm only interested in '2', everything else doesn't interest me."
Zhang Er felt deflated. Alright then, we will take a look for ourselves.
At this moment, all of the world's hackers and computer programmers had their eyes fixed on that webpage!
JIN had written the message in English: I am Jin. This incident was started by me. I was the one responsible for leading an attack on China's websites. If I offended anyone in any way, I apologize. '2', you are a world class hacker and I believe that you have the magnanimosity to forgive. I alone am responsible for this, you can come for me, but please don't implicate everyone else. If there's a chance, could you please give us the kill tool for the viruses?
The world waited.
They waited for '2' to reply.
After some time, there was still no news. JIN once again left a message on the webpage: I repeat. I would like to apologize on behalf of myself and my team!"
Over in China, there was a cheering throughout the country!
Netizen were sharing screenshots and links, while updating on the latest developments live!
"These people are finally admitting defeat!"
"They're inferior to our hackers! They only have themselves to blame!"
Did they forget what they did earlier? Now they want to apologize?!"
Hacker wars were generally very simple. There were no guns or smoke and everything happened quickly. Many of these things occurred in a split second and no one would really know who won or who lost. Perhaps only the participants themselves would know, but apologizing? One of Korea's top ten hackers had made a public apology? This was a rarely seen event. In previous encounters, even if a hacker lost, that was it. What could anyone do about it? Even if they didn't apologize or admit defeat, their opponents couldn't possibly travel through the cables and appear out of their computers to bite them, right? As a result, from this event today, it could be seen just how big of a mess the Panda Burning Incense had caused in Korea! It had even forced JIN to step forward!
However, this news wasn't really trending on Weibo. There was not many posts about this event. It wasn't known whether it was because not many people were concerned about it or because of the country's censorship. Among the top ten news articles, only the second spot was a report regarding the Panda Burning Incense. The other spots were all reporting on current affairs, entertainment or music, etc.
Ci Xiufang had forwarded it!
Yao Jiancai also forwarded it!
Grandma Zhang also liked the post!
These were the victims of the hackers in the past few days. Their accounts had been hacked into and stolen, so when JIN issued an apology, it was very meaningful for them!
On the Korean side.
Some people, who could still access the internet and dared to do so, also saw JIN's apology. They all felt infuriated and felt a sense of embarrassment!
An utter defeat!
With no chance of hitting back!
This was their first attempt at crossing swords and they had already lost so terribly!
Just as everyone was waiting for '2' to reply, a new message appeared on the webpage. It was from '2'!
I don't accept any form of apology!
When JIN and the other Korean hackers saw this, they nearly vomited blood. F**k, we've already apologized and lost face, but you still won't accept it?
Of course Zhang Ye did not accept it. In fact, he had already held back earlier on and was hoping to give them a chance, but when they developed that kill tool and thought that they had the virus under control, they immediately came back to attack again. From this alone, it could be seen just what kind of people they were. To Zhang Ye, these people had already lost their chance to negotiate. There was nothing left to say!
This was a war!
We do not accept your apologies!
We do not accept your surrender!