Fire Performer Barcelona

An extract from the book...

“…catching a bus was now a laid back affair. I never wore a watch due to the heat of the Greek sun and perspiration from my wrist and I never took a mobile phone because the ‘handshake’ it made automatically with every passing radio mast as it fought for a signal and connectivity would store the details of my wanderings that could be traced through a bank cash machine and account date and location stamp to me.

Instead I bought a cheap ‘disposable’, phone with just enough expense to ensure a good bandwidth for the victim’s data when connected to my laptop, and just cheap enough that when it landed in the sea I wouldn’t miss it.

The most important thing in any hack is obviously not to get caught by leaving a trail that comes back to you. Luckily Greece had not got anything like Pegasus – the software used by the CIA and sold by the US to countries like Mexico. Pegasus could identify and trace hackers at lightening speed using artificial intelligence and super computers. It was rumoured to be able to monitor an entire nations mobile phones and emails in real time as it looked for the hallmarks of terrorist researching bomb making, drug cartels negotiating a drug shipment or some other issue likely to cause a future breach of a law. China had developed ‘Safer Cities’ which was also being sold around the world, it principally used any CCTV camera that was web enabled to scan for individual’s faces in order to track them.

‘Safer Cities’ was dubious – it hacked poorly protected CCTV systems; which is pretty much all of them as well as using government street safety cameras to follow suspects.

I paid for the bus in cash and headed aboard to a destination far from any patterns or places I’d used before. Off I went.
The bus wove its route through crowded streets of shops, small bars and past groups of couples and families on the pavements going about their business. The bus was clean but basic and also had a CCTV camera up for the ‘passengers’ safety. A safety that during the day time was probably assured camera free but when the younger British holidaymakers were let loose at night time I’m guessing they’d be invaluable. I tried to maintain an indifferent innocent look as I gazed out of the window of the bus. My laptop was concealed. I’d be truly anonymous and an empty, nameless body in a sea of activity despite the cat and mouse surveillance.

'A Fraudster's Shadow' book cover

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    Type 45 Destroyer
    Swiss city at night

    An extract from the book...

    “Great to see you again Sophie, morning Hans,” Haines nodded. “We plan to launch a dawn strike. A missile will be launched from HMS Audacious that should shatter their communication pipe coming towards the coast from the group and a generator used for the signal boosters. Then an F35 based at our base in Cyprus will be our air asset and take out much of the camp’s southern defences and an provide a distraction. Embedded group forces near the north perimeter ditches and trenches will take out the remaining sentries. They will then assault along the north side of the camp, while  airborne commandos will attack the main objective – the camp’s IT areas in the second compound. It’s weakly defended, and once taken,  Chinooks will arrive to take prisoners and equipment away for interrogation.  Ground forces will provide containment until Libyan forces can arrive to intern the rest. Whole operation time is anticipated at thirty minutes.  Ideally less.” 

    “Ideally less?” 

    “We’re attacking a camp on the edge of a very lawless area. An entire army collapsed in Libya; their weaponry and every armoured vehicle they had, all disappeared into local hands. Libyan forces loyal to the new regime may arrive and may be on our side. Or they may not. We’ll take everything we can and destroy the rest so the gear doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. We anticipate that any serious, organised activity detrimental to the West will be recovered or permanently destroyed after our assault.”

    Haines’s colleague, Chief Petty Officer McPartlin, smiled; “We’ve been practicing our assault for weeks. The boys will take the outpost quickly with overwhelming fire power and put an end to a very dangerous group. And in my experience mercenaries seldom fight for their cause when it’s against organised, professional opposition. Loyalty to the dollar rather than a cause is their weakness.”

    “And equipment or lack off. We’ll wipe them out.” Smiled Haines.

    Captain Harrison nodded, “Come back in three hours at ten hundred hours. We’ll watch the live footage from here.  Or you go above deck and watch the helicopters take off from the carrier. You need your anti-flash suits on. “

    Schneider looked at Richards. “We’ve got them this time. You’ll be famous after this the world over Soph.  We’ll set organised crime back decades.”

    “The navy will bomb them back to the Stone Age.” Smiled Haines as Sophie and Hans surveyed the monitors around the Ops room.  “Probably kill your man but it will be worth it to rid the world of a couple hundred hackers and criminals.  Will clean up the internet in the Med for at least a week…”