I think everybody in the room was chipped, so the tension wasn’t as thick as you might imagine. Still, we were all highly “anticipatory.” Our devices alerted us to the received update as it came through our various service providers to each of us. We downloaded each file and checked it. I ran the comparisons in the collective workspace. Everything matched the file we had compiled and sent. Success!
“All right, everyone. If you weren’t part of the test pool, go ahead and authorize the patch. This is what we were expecting,” Dr. Semba said with a smile.
“Security looks good,” Veronica reported. “There are a lot of unknowns in the space, but nothing showing definitely as malicious activity. We’re still green to launch the… shit, wait.”
Her face was stony serious and her fingers were flicking. The other people watching security blanched and her assistant launched into action. Jakubczyk cursed softly. “We’re being attacked. Someone has control of the update server. Go ahead and cut it.”
“No!” Veronica shouted. “They’re not going in, they’re going outbound! They’re pushing their own patch!”
“God damn… stop it at the provider!” Jakubczyk corrected himself.
Veronica flicked and tapped. “Almost got it… damn. They squeezed out the file to the unrestricted list. Taking down the mirror and rainmaker replicator servers now.”
They continued working at a fevered pace.
“Turn off updating on your devices, and block app permissions, everyone,” Dr. Semba said calmly, cutting through the tense silence. “Francesca, Leah, we have to get word out to our VIPs and to the patients as a whole to block this update. Fast.”
“Yes, ma’am,” said the doctor. She drifted over to the corner and started a call. Francesca took a breath and sat down even as she was punching up PR. Dr. Semba took some sort of action of her own. I hoped she would reach people in time.
I watched with a soft, helpless feeling. My chip was humming. There was nothing I could do to help, so I stayed out of the way and watched the displays while Veronica and the security team did everything they could to confine and block the worldwide spread of the malicious patch. This was cyberwarfare in action, and it was far from just an interesting academic exercise now.