First of all, sorry for not being quicker on the update. Exams are keeping me away from you guys! But I’m trying my best to get back to you all. The plot has thickened with this chapter. Read on to know more!
Chapter 5: Outmaneuvered.
Kim Joo-won was massaging his forehead and was trying to calm down from firing the headache that was his son.
“Is Agent Kim still out of touch?” he asked Daniel.
“Yes, Director,” he replied politely.
Joo-won had let it go when his son had turned off the ear-piece and the tracker in the plane. But, now? He was seething with fury.
He was putting himself and the girl at risk.
“Sir!” suddenly Daniel said, “We have managed to tap into the feed of one of the CCTV cams near the Target’s house.”
Joo-won walked over to the monitor where Daniel was pointing. The man in the chair near the monitor respectfully inclined his head and moved back. Joo-won nodded to acknowledge the man’s good work and bent over to the monitor.
Everything in the street was quite dark. But he was able to make out the Ashton Martin parked outside the small gate of the house.
“Daniel,” said Joo-won, “get me a report on the car’s owner. I want everything—the owner’s history, medical records, criminal records, travel records. Everything. And especially, find out if he’s in any way related to anything anti-Korean.”
“Yes, sir!” Daniel nodded and turned to leave.
“And one more thing, Daniel!” called out Joo-won.
Daniel stopped mid-motion. “Make sure that all the street-lights in and near Pyeongchang-dong are repaired in the next two hours,” said Joo-won.
Daniel nodded and left. Joo-won tried to deduce why his son turned off his tracker in the middle of the mission. The scenarios were few. One was that he is out drowning his misery in alcohol. But that was not possible because the other person who’s also at risk in this mission is Jia. The second is that he is trying to hide something from Joo-won. Joo-won was more inclined towards this reason, because his son had lost trust in him ever since Joo-won had intervened in his last mission.
Suddenly, somebody rushed in. Joo-won turned to see who it was. The man was Jin-gook, the head of System Security.
“Director!” he said, looking nervous, “somebody’s hacked into our servers.”
Joo-won frowned. “You mean to say that the firewall didn’t stop the hacker?”
“That’s the problem, Director. It seemed as though our whole security system turned a blind eye to the infiltration. The boys are taking care of the glitch now. But the damage’s done. The systems in the Security section are under freeze now, and the hacker’s already taken whatever he or she has been looking for,” he said, at last revealing his panic.
The entire office, stood up in disbelief. But one look from Joo-won had them scrambling back to their work.
Joo-won followed Jin-gook into the Sys Sec block of NIS. Every day, hundreds and thousands of hackers tried to hack into NIS’s confidential files. Never were any of them close to even making a dent in the firewall.
Everybody in the Sys Sec block seemed to be in frenzy. People were shuffling around with various diagnostic papers on the hack. Everything around was a mess. And from what he understood immediately, all the attempts to unfreeze failed.
Joo-won watched the frozen screens of the monitors of the Sys Secs. Then he closed his eyes and concentrated.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, he remembered her voice telling him, “Remember, Joo-won! If the screens are still frozen, it means that the hacker’s not done yet. It means that the hacker’s still searching for whatever he or she came for.”
Some newbies came searching for Jin-gook. When they saw Joo-won, their jaws dropped and they turned all flustered. “Sir,” they said, “we have managed to unfreeze your system.”
He opened his eyes. “Take me to your office. Now!” he ordered Jin-gook.
Jin-gook looked at him in disbelief. But he was wise enough not to protest. Joo-won saw that some newbies were working on Jin-gook’s computer.
“Sir, we have done all that we could. But we don’t know how long we can hold on against the assault. It was very powerful, and beyond our level. But we have done our best,” one of them said.
“Good!” said Joo-won, before Jin-gook could even say a word.
Joo-won occupied Jin-gook’s chair and the newbies stood back to watch the legendary Kim Joo-won at work.
The first thing Joo-won did was set up an intricate trap. The hacker had first led them to believe that they were in control of the server, but if he was right, the hacker had already had a backdoor. The hacker was just using this freezing of systems as a decoy. Something really crucial was there, that Joo-won was missing. He felt as though he recognized the pattern in which this hack took place. But he needed to confirm whether the person he suspected was the hacker or not.
He waited like a child who waits for a candy. Then suddenly, the system froze again.
“Shit!” cried Jin-gook.
But Joo-won couldn’t help but laugh. The rookies standing by seemed puzzled. He ordered them to work on the system again.
“Sir, what about the confidential files?” asked Jin-gook.
“Don’t worry!” he assured, “the hacker won’t do anything. But do tell me after all the systems unfreeze, what files were downloaded or have gone missing from the servers. Because if I’m right, the files that were downloaded will be from my system back in my office.”
Jin-gook looked at him as though he had gone crazy. But Joo-won knew what he was doing, and what had happened.
He was outfoxed.
And there is only one person who has ever managed to do that to Kim Joo-won.
Sorry, but there’re no main leads in this chapter. You hungry readers out there gotta wait for the next chapter! 😉