Eclipse Security

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Eclipse Security handles all security aspects for Ascendancy Point. Their computer systems monitor not only the security subsystems, but building maintenance as well.

Technical Details

Here's some basic information about their security system:

  • Monitors movement throughout the building
  • Also monitors building maintenance, such as air conditioning subsystems
  • All subsystems are interconnected with one another, so that no one system works independently
  • System is prone to crashing, due to aging
  • As subsystems are interconnected, if one goes down, others fail as well
  • Uses 2 network clusters, which tend to run around or below 50% of their possible utilization
  • The system is neural--it's an AI.

The following detailed information is taken from the Eclipse Security website (requires login). This information was copied on 30-SEP-2006.

Eclipse Security System
Building Maintenance


Due to unusual activity patterns detected on this account, all access to subsystems has been indefinitely suspended.

This is the central hub for all building maintenance issues. The Ascendancy Point central neural system operates 'homeostatically' to keep all operation running normally with a minimum of human intervention. The options displayed to your left represent manual overrides to that system when subsystems are not operating at their desired levels.

The building maintenance subsystems are a mixture of active and passive systems, in the physical sense:

Active systems

Active systems are often deployed by the central neural system automatically and operate semi-autonomously. For example, active repair uses both robotics to attend to any structural issues within the building and also controls the micro and nanoscale systems for repair of other systems, such as air conditioning and cleaning. Obviously active repair does need monitoring and maintenance, but at a relatively low level.

Cleaning, deliveries and park services use a mixture of in-built structural systems as well as a large component of robotics that in some cases are shared between them, while air conditioning and water are predominantly in-built specialised systems.

Passive systems

Communications, network and service logs are all 'passive systems' in that they are largely invisible and are controlled by the central neural system, under the control of the technical department.

Your user level

By default, your current user access level does not allow you access to the manual overrides without explicit authorisation from higher access levels, or usage of an appropriate keyless user/password combination. If you require access to systems that are currently unavailable to you, please contact AP technical support via key or talk to your immediate superior.

Currently, all systems are running within specified tolerances.

Network Cluster Utilisation Graph
Netcluster.jpg

System Access

Cubehunters succesfully used data gained from access to the system to determine the identity of the Advisor. The system can be accessed via the following website:

The following sections explain how access was gained and utilised.

Background Information

Pietro Salk, journalist for the Sentinel, was investigating the murder of Bernardo Holyoke. He lapsed into a coma, only to awaken one night to feverish work on a puzzle (Pietros maze). That puzzle led to the discovery of Salklogs.doc, a collection of email correspondance between Salk and a mysterious person calling herself the Advisor who claimed that she was hired to steal the cube.

Amongst the logs, the following note was found:

I don't know why I'm telling you this except, I suppose, maybe the information could save your life. I have a backdoor hack into the Eclipse Security heat sensor system for the few floors around my apartment, as well as server room 4. Just in case. Just to see what's going on. Just to make sure I know who's here. Anyway. If you need it, it's there. You'll find it via the usual AP site, and the username and password should be obvious. Just in case.

So, the Cubehunters knew a backdoor existed. But how to access it?

Accessing the Back Door

Cubehunters quickly figured out the URL to the website:

Using known information about the Advisor (she often patronised Red Hot bakery, known for their corriander-lime muffins), it didn't take long to figure out the username/password combination:

    • User: theadvisor
    • Password: thelimelife

The Heat Senors and Air Conditioning Puzzles

Once in the system, they were presented with the Heat Sensors subsystem. By watching the movement of people in the building, they were able to learn which apartment the Advisor lived in. See: Heat Sensors#Puzzle for more information.

While working on the Heat Sensors#Puzzle, the following system notice appeared on the Eclipse Security website:

26th August 268: Repairs to the air conditioning system are currently underway and most problems have been resolved. However, if you are operating any of the AC subsystems manually, you may experience interruptions or business data leaks during periods when regular maintenance is being carried out by technicians in the server rooms.

30th August 268: We are testing a new live technical support facility with automatic configuration based on user location. This facility will be available for testing on Wednesday 31st August from 5:20pm to 7pm BST.

Business data? Hmm... sounds important! Next step: gaining access to the Air Conditioning subsystem. Cubehunters called the live technical support line during the designated times. A variety of methods were used in an attempt to gain access (some attempts were quite humourous). User:Puzzled_Pineapple succeeded by posing as The Advisor, and was told that access to the Air Conditioning systems would be granted within 48 hours.

By crashing the Air Conditioning subsystem, the Cubehunters were able to generate a list of Ascendancy Point Residents. See Air Conditioning#Puzzle for more information.

Combining this data with the data gleaned from the Heat Sensors, the identity of the Advisor was discovered--PCBC economist advisor Monica Grand.

References

Websites

  • Eclipse Security main site link
  • Eclipse Security Building Maintenance link

UnForums threads

Sentinel Articles