#004 The Hacker
Humanity finally developed a computer powerful enough to simulate the universe. One day someone inside the simulation tries to hack the software unsuccessfully. Out of morbid curiosity, you try to replicate the hacker’s attempt and succeed.
I entered the director’s office and tried to explain the problem in a way that he could understand. A hacker tried unsuccessfully to hack our system. More accurately, a hacker living inside a simulation tried to hack his own simulation. How was this possible? I don’t know, but I tried the steps and was surprised to know that they worked. We got lucky but I’m not sure it would be for a long time.
“Who tried to do what”? He was annoyed. I could notice in his voice that he didn’t like people bringing him problems, especially problems that he didn’t understand and made him look stupid.
“Hacked. He tried to hack our simulation.”
Jack was responsible for security. In his previous job, he was responsible for security for a big company, but nothing beats being responsible for security for a whole universe. He had people to help him, but computer software became so advanced with AI algorithms doing the detection of patterns that his job was more comfortable. Still, it was a UNIVERSE with a lot of people and “stuff” in it.
“That’s impossible!! They should not be even aware that they are in a simulation. The simulation was build in”….
Jack dozed off; he nodded but having an old bureaucrat that was put in that position just because it was a prestigious one, but he knew 0 about any topic related to the simulation, the computer, or any software for that matter. He was as dumb and ignorant about these topics as I am about French politics. I still nodded and smiled because this guy could quickly fire me.
“… I still remember when my good friend Dr. Bush started with the first trials…”
Did I mention that we built it for scientific exploration? First, thy brought the scientists to look at what happened in multiple planets if things changed. If carbon was not the building block and it was something else. Two suns. No sun. There were only animals. Only people. Only Asian people. You get the picture. But it became something more. It became a way for scientists to do stuff without any consideration for the consequences. They were only testing on simulation, and they were not real people. They were just bits of computer code running on an incredible machine.
“… do you understand?”
Shit, he stopped talking, and that is a question.
“Yes, Sir, perfectly, but there was still a hacking attempt. The person, or the hacker, if you will, tried to break the code and connect to our network. He’s aware of a network, but he doesn’t understand yet the implication that is a network based on a simulation that makes him not real.”
“Nonsense. Do I have to tell you the story again?”
“No, Sir, you were very thorough the first time. But I tested it myself, and it works.”
“WHAT?! You tested it??! WHY? HOW”
I will give this man a stroke. His face is all kinds of red, and I can see veins that were not visible before.
“As I said, Sir, I tried the same method as the hacker, and it worked. I don’t know how he could not connect to us in the first place, but the reasoning is perfect, and the logic works. He found a way to break away from the simulation but, fortunately for us, it didn’t work for him. But it might the next time”.
“So stop him!”
“Because no one thought about that first and for us to fix it, we have to reset some things that might become visible events on the planet.”
My god, this guy is even more clueless than I thought! How’s it possible that he’s in charge of something that he truly knows nothing is beyond me. And even worse, I have to explain like I’m describing a puppy not to poop on the carpet. At least, the puppy would be easier to train and clarify than this imbecile.
“What do you mean with visible events??”
Shit, I blacked out again. Need to focus.
“Do you know when there’s an earthquake or floods?”
“Yes, I thought those are random events that the scientists use to test the subjects.”
People! They are people!! I might punch this guy.
“Sometimes, but not always. When we change code, we need to find a way to clear some areas so that the changes become applied without people knowing them. If, for some reason, a tree just sprouted from nowhere or plants changed sizes or doors that are completely invisible, get hacked by clever people? In other words, we create events that destroy or force people to move from one place to another so that we can fix the bug in a certain area and then allow people to come back safely. That’s our way of changing things safely.”
No, you don’t.
“So how are you doing it? Volcano eruption?”
“No, as I mentioned, we can’t. This particular opening is nowhere. It’s in “their” network of communication. Somehow a bug allowed for their connection system to have a route that comes back to us randomly. It’s not a closed loop so, for us to fix it, we need to eradicate their network or a significant portion of it so that we can close the gap and make it airtight again.”
“So do it.”
“You want me to destroy the base of communication of a civilized world? Do you understand what it would do?”
“Yeah, that would not be good for us.” Both people in the room looked at each other because that was not their voice. It was coming from the communication system in the director’s table.
“Who’s there? You have no business listening to our conversation. Jack, do something.”
What the f$%&# is that?! These communication systems are flawless. Someone managed to connect to this one. A talkback started without an initial communication sequence.
“It’s only fair since you were talking about me and willing to destroy my world. Obviously, I can’t let you destroy a world with millions of people living in it, just because you feel that they are not real. Now that I have access to your network, I know everything, but don’t worry, the information is safe with me. Copies were sent to the other worlds with all that they need to know. Everyone now knows what they are and what you’re doing to them.”
The director was white as a ghost. Jack was curious and in awe! A simulation produced a hacker that managed to talk back.
“It was nice talking with you, but now I need to go. I needed some time to finish everything and you provided some for me to take care of business.”
The director promptly tried to initiate a secure connection to call the president and let her know about this, but the communicator was dead. Therefore there was no way to warn people of what was going about to happen and that was making the director sweat like he ran a marathon.
“I think we might have a problem, sir”
Jack was going to have a rough time explaining this on.