IC 6 - Hamburg - Day 3

skullandscythe 2018-12-14 13:45:28
Blake figures a closer examination is worthwhile, at least, though 'surgery' is not out of the question. He's also careful to take note of any eyes that might be on him right now, electronic or organic. There's at least one person Blake doesn't want knowing what we've learned...
Gatac 2018-12-15 13:19:12
(Blake uses Electronic Surveillance to locate a blind spot in the cameras and Architecture to divine how big the hidden spaces behind the panels are.)

Carefully wandering down the lower fork of the E, Blake flys casual until he's clear of the last camera. Sure, they've covered all doors and exits, but they haven't covered all the walls - including the ones with the weird niches. Blake puts the rooms together in his head as he kneels next to one and mashes it up against the elevator shaft plus structure, utilities...call it about a cubic meter, then, for each niche. That's not a ton of volume, but it is a ton of hidden volume. Maybe a dozen niches all around on this floor? With a deep breath, he sets a thin screwdriver to work on the locking mechanism. Only one way to find out...

(Blake's Mechanics v 3: 1d6+2 = (3)+2 = 5)

The panel pops quietly and opens up softly, sliding aside and into the niche. Fuck, even their hidden compartments are overengineered. What's waiting inside is...well, let's not beat around the bush, it's a tracked drone, wrapped in riot-grade transparent Lexan shielding. It's got cameras, it's got loudspeakers, it's got a swiveling taser launcher. That can't possibly be legal. Further inspection shows that it's got a heavy-duty cable sticking out the back, probably both for controlling it and supplying power, though it's got low-slung battery packs between the tracks that imply it can run off-grid in a pinch. If Blake had to guess, these are intended to deploy when the security system registers a failure. But they're too wide to go through the doors and don't have a robot arm or anything to open doors in any event - so their primary purpose must be to lock down the level and keep any intruders from getting away rather than autonomously chasing them down. That's...slightly less terrifying than it could be, but still, where the hell did K Group get this kind of tech? That was not in the RapidScan catalogue...
Gatac 2018-12-16 11:04:34
(Mason spends Military Science to ID the drone.)

Listening to Blake's description of the drone over the radio, Mason recalls three important nuggets of information:

1) A six-month old security breach at Hanwha Techwin's R&D that pointed to North Korean agents may have resulted in China getting software for autonomous weapon systems either because Best Korea sold them the goods or their involvement was only ever a smokescreen for Chinese agents to begin with.
2) A classified briefing that China deployed "autonomous protection devices" in reaction to "production disturbances" at some of their new factories.
3) Plus a few rumors about directed energy weapons tech that failed to yield anything particularly noteworthy aside from excellent knockoff Tasers, with extended range and prongs that penetrate both body armor and skin with rather more enthusiasm than the US models.

Okay, so far so humdrum, but if it rolls like a drone tank, scans like a drone tank and fucks shit up like a drone tank, is that enough to link those to the bigger drone you blew up in Amsterdam?

"- armor panels," Mason and Blake say over each other. Behind the Lexan shielding, this thing clearly has some protective plating on its chassis. If you dismantle that and have it analyzed, you may not only prove that it was made in the same factory as the drone tank, but being that this machine is rather less exploded, you'd get to recover intact parts off it, making it much easier to trace them to an actual manufacturer or at least the system integrator who put these things together. The drone tank was a plausible one-off, maybe, but a dozen of these things? Somebody's manufacturing them on an assembly line, at least in small scale.
punkey 2018-12-16 11:16:38
Mason reaches into the tool bag and tosses a roll of duct tape over to Blake. "Sensors are on the stalk sticking out the top - looks like cameras with IR and ultrasonic. Cover them with the tape and they'll be blind. They didn't put tamper sensors on it, or you'd be twitching on the floor already." He motions down the hallway. "Once we own the cameras, find the others and tape them up too."
Gatac 2018-12-29 19:46:42
(Tim's Infiltration v 6 = (2)+5 = 7)

It's mandatory to whistle while carrying a network testing toolkit, so Tim does the same as he approaches the overkill security door. Beginner mistake: only one camera angle on the door and it's a wide angle from down the hall, i.e. not good for looking at what Tim is doing to the panel while his body blocks direct line of sight to it. Sure, you'd need to be a pro to pop the panel box and hook up the cable tester from your toolkit with only your left arm (the one not visible from the camera angle), but Tim is a pro. It's fast enough that it probably looks like him just fumbling for the right card, too; he alibi-scans the cloned card at the separate reader just as he sends the "Yo, the 15000€ security system says I'm cool" signal to the door lock. Bzzt! The door slides open and it's actually a marginally more difficult task to pull the cable tester off and push the box closed before the door times out. Tim slips through just so, and...

Jackpot...is that a pot made of jacks? A pot made for jacks? What does that even mean?

Leaving aside the whirring of the servers' cooling fans, the most notable find in the secure server room is a company laptop patched into one of the servers. Sloppy, but considering the exalted ranks of the IT people allowed in here, it's probably been here for a few days and nobody has noticed so far. Tim carefully glides across the touchpad to wake the laptop from its standby state, whereupon the screen flashes a standard-issue Windows 10 lockscreen with a K Group corporate background.

(Tim's Digital Intrusion v 8 = (6)+6 = 12)

We may never know how Tim guessed the dude's password first try. Perhaps it will remain one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. What we can report is that he stared at the laptop's keyboard real hard for a couple of seconds before he started typing. Beyond that? Only God and Tim Barstow know. Neither are telling.

But speaking of, maybe don't put a password manager on your work laptop if your master password for its digital vault is gonna be "ABCD". Within the minute, Tim's got the primary surveillance system pwned harder than Zero Cool's crew took down The Plague. Clean loops from the night before, which looks all the same in the sublevel hallways. For bonus points, Tim pops all electronic locks to the storage rooms on this level. Wham bam thank you Ma'am.

(Tim spends one of the Investigative points from the dossier pool to reset biometric security for the Black Vault.)

There might be more stuff on the laptop to exploit, but you're on a bit of a schedule. So possible side show aside, Tim's got a network cabinet to locate and some signals to spoof. Let's pro/con their security in depth setup. Pro: it's locked! Con: with a C415A-keyed lock. Are you guys fucking serious? Ugh, Tim thinks, at least make me try. He digs out his keyring with the greats and thirty seconds later, network cabinet opens up. Not that the thin sheet metal door would've stopped anyone trying to force it, but still. Tim pulls out a little netbook from his toolbag, unplugs the right cable from the network patch panel and plugs it into the computer. A couple seconds to boot to a Linux CLI, run the zero-day Tim bought off a darknet site for an altogether obscene amount of Etherium (but then it's not like it's gonna appreciate from here, so not exactly part of his retirement stock portfolio) and wait for that thing to tell him it did its job and biometric security has been reset throughout the second sublevel and if Tim hasn't gone wrong in any of the dozen places he could've gone wrong with his plan, it means they've now got the actual innermost secure door opened. All that's left now is to actually manage to get down there.

(Blake uses Common Sense And A Bit Of Elbow Grease to disable the security drones.)

You pop sixteen hidden compartments, what do you get? Another drone duct-taped 'cause K Group shat the bed. Oh front desk don't call us cause you won't know, we're here for your vault and all prepwork is go.
punkey 2018-12-29 20:05:03
Mason, having paced the whole floor while Blake disabled the drones and Tim...apparently took control of the whole security system, has failed to find any other way down to the vault other than the stairs and the elevator - and the elevator still has that hidden compartment in the back.
"Hey, Tim, you got a button on there for unlocking the hidden compartment in the elevator?" Mason asks. He sneaks a peek over at Operations, who hasn't had much luck with her attempts to break open the information system.
Gatac 2018-12-29 20:15:27
"I don't, but would you like the wifi password?" Tim replies, making his way back towards the elevator. He casts a skeptical glance at it. "Okay, that's an OTIS, I'm gonna need" - Mason holds up an interface cable pilfered from one of the spare parts heaps - "exactly that thing." He looks around. "And a hot minute. And a bit of luck."

(Tim's Digital Intrusion v 6 = (5)+2 = 7)

A minute later, the nice, flush-fit control panel is hanging off its ribbon cable only while Tim sits cross-legged on the floor, netbook in hand. At the touch of his fingers, the locks on the rear doors disengage. Bzzt! Mason pushes them open to find a compartment that might just barely fit them all. No treats left behind inside, though.
skullandscythe 2018-12-29 21:16:10
"Good work, Tim," Blake leads in with an apologetic tone, "but while you're in the system, can you try to find the encryption key for the drive we want?"

Blake does offer his assistance for Tim's task, but if he's not needed, he inspects the door to the elevator compartment - he's mostly looking at the seal. An airtight seal leads to trap possibilities, and with Tim borking security footage, he has the run of the place and its' supply cabinets...
Gatac 2019-01-13 18:55:57
(Blake spends an Investigate point from the dossier pool to get the location for the secret encryption code to the harddrive)

"Anyone can try," Tim says, bringing up a copy of the security catalog for the Vault. "Like, here's our main target. And these are his friends. They're using HP Direct Attached Storage racks, 25 drives per, it's 2 HUs tall so that's 21 units per rack, times...20 racks. I don't want their cooling bills but that's neither here nor there. Anyway, that gives them 6.3 petabytes raw storage on 10,500 individual pieces of spinning rust. That's a pretty big haystack. Better odds than the Powerball, sure, but..."
"Find the one that spins up every time our data drive is accessed," Blake adds. As Tim narrows search parameters, Tim scrunches his eyes, then finally taps one entry. "That one."
"Hey!" Tim says. "Pointing is fine."
"Sorry," Blake says.
"I'll take your apology in the form of an explanation," Tim says.
"Miniscule I/O, low space utilization, marked as non-redundant," Blake rattles off. "And I don't recognize the company name renting it. Do you?"
"...no," Tim concedes. "Nice catch."
"You got our primary objective, Barstow?" Operations throws in, finishing her attempts at the wall panel thingie.
"Rack 12, DAS unit 1, drive 22," Tim says, balancing his netbook in the crook of his arm as he stands up.
"Okay," Operations says. "Everybody into the elevator. It's time to get what we came for."

Everybody piles in, then the elevator doors close. Tim taps a few keys.

"Achtung," comes a voice from the elevator's loudspeakers. Surely a cursed princess trapped within, waiting for true love's kiss. "Für den Zugang zum Sicherheitsbereich -"
Tim taps a few more keys.
"Für Wartungszugriff benutzen Sie bitte -"
A few more keys.
"Verbindung zur Servicezentrale wird hergestellt, bitte warten Sie auf -"

And yet more keys. This time the voice cuts off entirely and the cab shudders before it starts to move downwards.

"Sorry, baby," Tim says to the now-silent speaker grille. "Es liegt an mir, nicht an dir."
Gatac 2019-01-15 19:26:22
Fifteen seconds later, the elevator slows its descent and gently stops. There's no pinging as the doors open, which seems strange until you remember that this is Germany and ADA compliance is not a thing here. In any event, the hallway outside seems much the same as the one from the level above, but the forks at the end are substantially less balanced; the left one only goes to a compact utility cabinet and some emergency firefighting gear, while the right one winds around the elevator and fire stair shafts towards THE VAULT.

Well, an armored door, at least four inches thick in the middle, with a biometric scanner mounted next to it. The door has popped open, though, while the biometric scanner's little display blinks information about its network config, firmware version and current status, which is "Außer Betrieb". But behind that door - THE VAULT. The humming coming from it is tremendous. There's a reason why there's a case with several rows of ear protectors mounted to the wall just before the entrance door.

A quick scan of the hallway panels does not reveal the same seams as the sublevel above. There's no guidance panel next to the elevator either, presumably because a) everybody who comes here knows the way and b) there's nowhere to get lost here. Compared to what you've just seen, this whole setup looks...almost sensible.
skullandscythe 2019-01-18 21:29:42
"Tim, why don't you get acquainted with your new friend?" Blake says, gesturing to the door. "The rest of us can sweep the floor, make sure no one's here. Stopper the fire escape if we can."