Written by Roy Turse
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Saturday, 5 February 2011

image for Chinese Virus Attack on Foreign Office was Zumziblatoo-F

In a press conference in Munich today, William Hague told reporters that the Foreign Office repelled an attack last month from "a hostile state intelligence agency". The virus used in the attack has now been identified as variant F of the infamous Zumziblatoo virus.

Mr Hague would not comment about the method used to block the attack, but sources in the cyber intelligence community suggested it was achieved using a technique known as the 'Ludite Wall'.

We tracked down CodeSpanka, our slightly evil hacking consultant (known in the fraternity as a 'brown hat') and asked him to explain what a Ludite Wall is. Once the fee had been wired, he did, in his usual mix of techo-speak and urban slang.

It seems that standard Firewalls and Anti-Virus systems are not 'respected' by the Foreign Office. Instead, every email that is received goes through an 'awesome' filtering process before it is allowed on the FO internal network.

First, CodeSpanka told us, the email is wirelessly downloaded onto 'some weird reader like a spook-Kindle, or a spy-pad, or some shit'. It is then read out loud by a 'suit' (civil servant), one word at a time. A voice recorder is used to burn each spoken word onto its own individual flash memory card, and a sequence-numbered barcode is attached.

The memory cards are shuffled, then sent by a series of runners from the Foreign Office (External Operations) to the Foreign Office (Internal Services) down the road at Whitehall. CodeSpanka told us that the sequence of words by this time is 'really random'.

At the Internal Services office, a team of 'tekki-bois' are each given a card. They listen to their word and then type it with the sequence number into a computer server that is completely isolated from the Internet or any other external networks. A 'well devious app' on the server re-builds the words into the correct sequence, creating a word-for-word copy of the original, but with no possibility of a virus.

From there it is a simple matter for the server to route the email to the laptop of the correct diplomat, so they can leave it on a train or in the back of a taxi.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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