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wintermute virus

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.
  (+15, -3)(+15, -3)
(+15, -3)
  [vote for,

In William Gibson's "Neuromancer", the hero walks past a row of public phones, each of which rings once.

We could do that as a prank today (and I'd like such a service); you could easily set up something to call four preprogrammed phone numbers in sequence, triggered from another number. (Of course you still need a human controller, but the victim doesn't know that.)

A colleague of mine misunderstood this idea as a slightly different, much more evil one:

If people ever walk around with little bluetooth clouds broadcasting their business cards, someone could write a phone- or PDA-based virus that, unbeknownst to its host, picks up the business card of bystanders, finds a phone number in it, and calls it, ringing (beeping, vibrating) just once.

You wouldn't know what's going on; there would just be a barely noticeable unrest, a graceful adjusting of clothes and checking of devices around you that subsides as soon as you've noticed it.

jutta, Aug 22 2000


       I wonder if it would be possible to hack the cellphone's communication with the cell? This would make it possible to write viruses which would work with existing cellphones. So, as you walk into a crowded room, everyone's cellphones would ring, just once (all with competing tunes).
hippo, Aug 23 2000

       even x-ref his geo-loc (man am I lazy today!) with nearby public phones, dial his phone/voice mail, then the payphone, then when he (presumably) answers the payphone, he'd hear his beeping going off as he leaves himself an unintended voicemail...   

       hahahaha.... stupid ultra-connecteds...   

       coffee gud.
absterge, Aug 23 2000

       You got my vote, but when I read the title I halfthought you were advocating a way to generate neural feedback to flatline wilsons.   

       I think the anti-wintermute virus software would have to be called "Kuang grade Mark 6."   

       Two, one, an' kick ass.
centauri, Aug 23 2000

       Your friend is very cool. I like the Bluetoot Trojan. Of course, it would have to wait until the density of these things picks up a bit and it would need some vile hybrid pda/cellphone to sit on and infiltrate, but it would be a neat prank. And it would have to be a trojan, aside from how paranoid bluetooth devices would presumably be, the prank just isn't as funny if _everyone_ causes the disorder in each other when they meet. Just one poor schmuck with a rapidly expanding cellphone bill and a statistically measurable presence in the world's cellphone caller ID memory. ( it would be a lot of fun at E3 or the like)
bear, Aug 24 2000

       Pit your enemies against each other; infect their clouds so that they only call each other when in range. Everyone else can live undisturbed by either empty phone calls or emptyheaded phone owners.   

       (Nearly a killfile for cellphone owners, though they'd suspect something before getting so tied up as to be completely out of your hair.)
hello_c, Sep 02 2000

       Speeking of cellphone virus/trojans. I'd like to see a sircam and code red strain that infects cell phones. The sircam strain would call a 3rd party-- either a random number or a number in your contact list-- during the cell phone owner's conversation. This could cause havoc for those with double lives or just people with lots of bad things to say about those in their contact lists. The code red strain would simply dial all the phone numbers in your contact list and then try random numbers, infecting all phones that are vulnerable. If vulnerabilites are found in most cell phones and cell phone services, it would take a matter of minutes for everyone in the country's --and maybe the world's -- cell phones to ring. (and if could be very smart and do it in an undetactable way by blocking incoming calls-- that are potentially from people telling you to turn off your phone-- and disabling your power button.)
sh4linux, Aug 21 2001

       how sweet.
st3f, Aug 21 2001

       It's over a year old, but [absterge] gets my vote for best annotation.
phoenix, Oct 26 2001


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