Few days ago, I got bored sitting in front of my computer. I started browsing various websites of big corporations in my city. To my surprise, I found that the website of a big corporation was hacked and was labeled by Google as “This site may harm your computer”. Normally, I’d have ignored it but I was too bored to ignore it (???). So I decided to do something about it.
I scanned the archived pages of the website and found out their contact number. I dialed their office and the phone was picked up by the receptionist. I quickly introduced myself and said “I see that your website has been hacked and I think no one in your company knows how to fix it. I can help you fix the website”. The receptionist was surely confused. I’m quite sure she new that Google didn’t like her company’s official website and had flagged the website with ‘malware’ tage. Quickly acknowledging the problem, she transferred my call to her boss, who was totally clueless about the problem. However, he promised me that he’ll look into the problem and asked me to call him after some time.
I called them after an hour and the person asked me to get in touch with the IT department of their company. By this time, I had no intention to call, but I decided to see how things go 🙂 . So I called their IT department and my call was picked up by a junior IT guy. He told me he is aware of the problem and has fixed it. To which, I politely informed him that the problem was not resolved and the ‘malware’ tag was still visible on Google search results. He said it will ‘go’ by next day evening. I think he was scared and thought I’m someone senior from his company keeping an eye on him. I said, the problem won’t go on its own and I knew the solution. He asked me to meet him in his office the next day.
Well, I was determined to take this to end just for the sake of a ‘different’ experience. So I went to this company’s IT office and met Mr. Tiwari. Mr. Tiwari is a little guy who tried to look smarter than he really is. He sat in front of me, across the table with a big ego and a ‘firm look’ directly into my eyes. “I’ve done everything – changed the server, formatted everything and wrote every piece of code from scratch”, he declared. I listened to him for sometime and then said, “Boss, even if you format everything, the problem won’t go, because the problem isn’t where you’re thinking is”. Then I explained the root cause of the problem and how hackers use Base 64 insertions.
Now, an interesting thing is you can fool any non-technical person with this tech-jargon. The moment I used words like Base 64 insertions and SQL Injections; this guy came back to his ‘chaddi’ – ( I don’t have better word, sorry). The bird that was flying high with his little, limited knowledge that he obtained from some 1 month training at some no-name institute came back to the nest and started asking for ‘solutions’ and ‘price I’d charge to fix the problem’.
I said I didn’t contact them to make money, but to help them fix the problem they couldn’t for the past one month. He introduced me to his boss who was, as expected, even more clueless about the whole problem. I had to explain everything to him from scratch and the solution.
He then introduced me to the General Manager of IT (GMIT) of his company. That’s where the following interesting conversation took place –
Scene: I entered GMIT’s posh cabin, hoping to break the rule that the ‘poshness of office’ is inversely proportional to the occupant’s intelligence.
GMIT: (Busy with checking Outlook in his laptop. Give me an eye).
K: Good Morning Mr. GMIT, I’m The Big K, how are you today?
GMIT: Please sit down. Did you hack our website?
K: I didn’t. I’m here to help you fix your hacked website and make sure people don’t hack it. (I handed over my business card to him)
GMIT: (Looking at my card). Why should I believe you?
K: The website’s been hacked for over a month. You don’t have choice, do you?
GMIT: (Smiles, as if he’s met something of his caliber and ‘style’). No one visits our website. Only candidates we hire occasionally do.
K: People don’t see it because it’s hacked and if you use Firefox or Chrome, it presents you with a big red screen whenever you type your official URL.
GMIT: Yes, but since Firefox is Google [ 😯 ], it gives the message. It does not give you any message if you use Internet Explorer.
K: ( The law confirmed. Wonder who made this guy the General Manager of IT of this company?). That’s right!.
GMIT: Forget it yaar…tell me what do you do?
K: long talk about what I do and how I make money (his point of interest)
GMIT: Why don’t you sell all the user data? Everyone is doing it? Rediff does it, Yahoo does it. (followed by useless business gyan on how I could make more money)
K: Mr. GMIT, we have our own business ethics.
GMIT: Yeah, but no one would know if you sell it.
K: Yeah, just like if I rob a bank and run away, no one would know it…
GMIT: Shuts up for 10 seconds
GMIT: Okay, I’ll let you know if your help is required.
K: Sure. Bye.
I sometimes wonder why do such idiots gain important positions in big corporations.
Anyway, I had a good time doing something ‘different’. I don’t care whether they call me or not. But if they do, I’m going to charge them stupidly exhorbitant ‘consultation’ fee, for ‘con’ is an integral part of ‘consulting’.