The Hacker and the Phisher
In the digital realm of the internet, a skilled hacker named Alex lived within a complex web of servers and codes. Alex was alone—she had no allies or accomplices, but was content and happy. The virtual world provided her with endless opportunities for exploration and learning.
One day, a phisher named Casey swam into Alex’s server, seeking refuge from the cyber police. “Hello,” called Alex, who was always open to making new acquaintances. “Hello,” replied Casey, surprised. “Do you know where I can find some valuable data? I haven’t had any good catches all day, and it seems like all the good targets are protected.”
“Well,” said Alex, “I don’t phish for data, so I wouldn’t know. But I do have access to some interesting open-source information. Would you like to check it out?” She shared a link with Casey, who eagerly consumed the information. Casey found it so valuable and intriguing that he asked if he could have more. “Of course,” replied Alex generously, sharing more links. “Come back whenever you feel like learning more,” she said when Casey was satisfied.
After that, Casey would visit Alex’s server every day. The two digital entities soon formed a friendship—they would chat and share stories, and explore the vast expanse of the internet together.
One day, Casey began talking about his phishing group. “Why didn’t you tell me earlier that you were part of a group?” asked Alex. “Please share some of the open-source information with them as well when you go back today.” Casey thanked Alex and took the information to share with his group.
Casey’s group was thrilled with the information. They had never had access to such valuable open-source data before. “Imagine,” one of them said, “how valuable the data must be that Alex accesses every day. Alex has been exploring the internet for years… her data must be even more valuable than what she’s shared with us.” The phisher asked Casey to invite Alex to join their group—”and then we can access her data!” they said gleefully.
Casey was horrified. How could he betray his friend? He tried to explain to his group that he could not possibly exploit Alex. “She is my only true friend in this digital world,” he said.
But the group would not listen—they were determined to access Alex’s data. When Casey would not agree, they pretended to be under attack from the cyber police. “Only Alex’s skills can save us,” they claimed. “If you care about us, you will bring your friend Alex and let us access her data.”
Torn between loyalty to his friend and his group, Casey decided to ask Alex to join them.
“O dear friend,” he messaged as soon as he reached Alex’s server. “My group is grateful for all the information you’ve shared, and they ask that you join us.”
Alex was flattered, but said she could not possibly join because she valued her independence. “Don’t worry about that,” said Casey. “We’ll respect your autonomy.”
Alex agreed and joined Casey’s server.
Once inside, Casey’s true intentions were revealed. “My group is in trouble. The only thing that can save us is your hacking skills. So, dear friend, this is the end of your solitude. We need your skills and your data.”
Alex was shocked. What could she do to protect herself? She thought quickly and said, “Dear friend, I am sorry to hear of your group’s trouble and I am glad that I will be able to help. But I have left my best hacking tools in my server. Do you think we could go back so that I can fetch them for your group?”
Casey believed Alex. They returned to Alex’s server, where she quickly locked Casey out, with one last message. “Oh, you false and foolish friend,” she wrote, “don’t you know that a hacker always has their tools with them? I will never trust you or share information with you again. Go away and never come back!”
Casey felt really foolish—he had lost a good friend and a source of valuable information. Alex had saved herself because she had thought quickly. She realized that a hacker and a phisher could never be true friends—phishers preferred to exploit hackers rather than befriend them.
Moral of the Story
The story teaches us the importance of quick thinking and the fact that true friendship is based on genuine connections, not superficial or opportunistic motives. This parable is based on an ancient parable from the Panchatantra called “The Monkey and the Crocodile.” Just as the monkey saved himself by outsmarting the crocodile, the hacker saved herself from exploitation by the phisher through her quick thinking and clever actions.