Eclipse Security handles all security aspects for Ascendancy Point. Their computer systems monitor not only the security subsystems, but building maintenance as well.
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.
- Website: http://www.ascendancypoint.com/eclipsesecurity (login required)
- User: theadvisor
- Password: thelimelife
The following sections explain how access was gained and utilised.
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:
- 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.
- Eclipse Security Login
- Eclipse Security System notices
- Eclipse Security System - Live Tech Help Phone
- [ http://forums.unfiction.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12202 Eclipse Security - Air Conditioning Access]
- Perplex City Sentinel
- More Headlines: 13-APR-05 "False Alarm at Ascendancy"
- article, 05-JUL-05 "Ascendancy Point Riddled with Problems" link
- article, 25-JUL-05 "Ascendancy Shamed" link
- article, 05-SEP-05 "Point's Problems Reaching Resolution" link
- article, 19-SEP-05 "PCBC Economist Found Murdered in Point Dwelling" link
- article, 22-SEP-05 "Iona Interviews... Alasandro Mere" link
- article, 03-JUL-06 "Ascendancy Point Residents File Suit for Security Breaches" link