The Bank Job: Part 1

I'm reminded of The Bank Job because of the weather. The snow was whipping, a blizzard was on its way, and the wind couldn't decide which way to go. We had been given two days to compromise four sites, and my Man in the Van chose to try and outrun the blizzard. Unfortunately, he timed it incorrectly, and the mountain range pushed it back onto him; it was a giant storm cell.

The previous three sites were easy; I was good to go once I matched the office attire and made a badge at the corner mail depot. The first location was an unexpected victory; I lit a cigarette and stood by the back door, waiting to bow my head and make a hasty entrance. It was bitter cold, but I looked like I was on a smoke break when a friendly person opened the door and courteously held it open for me. I was in! Now, what? I needed intel about the inside of the building, which I didn't have. All I knew was the hum of a nearby data center.

Nearby was a counting room with cash, a bathroom, a break room and closet, and the data center door. They all had the same “L” shaped handle, perfect for reaching underneath the door with a coat hanger I brought in and a small ball of string, a loop wrapped around the end, and the gentle push of the coat hanger under the door to loop the string around the handle and pull it down opening the door. This technique is like playing the toy arm game blindfolded with a limp noodle you can't pull too hard on; otherwise, it'll fall off the hook. Less than three minutes before the nice person who let me in comes by, and wonders why I am on the floor by the server room. I focused on the task, miss. Then another miss. They were followed by more misses and more limp string. Finally, after a few more tries and soaking in sweat, I hooked the handle and rolled into the room.

Seconds later, as I closed the door, I heard the outside door open. Two people were talking about “the new guy who just started,” and having no intel on the location, I correctly assumed that they were talking about me and that I didn't have much time before they asked human resources about the new guy. Luckily I didn't need to pick any locks and got to business quickly. The location was, as most data closets are, a complete mess with tons of opportunities to hide a small device and connect it. All I needed to do was figure out where the network jack was that I needed and some power. All over the floor were power supplies, so check that one off the list; finding the core switch was easy; it's the only one with professional cabling on it. Plugging that in, I called back to my Man in the Van and asked him to check for traffic over the DNS network we were creating. The network admins helpfully provided dynamic addresses, so I immediately got a hot IP. Lo and behold, they also offered DNS entries. If this was a model for every location, this was going to be a very successful week.

Continued in Part 2