Oops, I did it again

The ongoing quest to catch a cybercriminal

Richard de Vries
4 min readMay 27, 2022


While looking out the window, Carl discovers something interesting. Something that can change his and Jennifer’s lives altogether. While studying for his exams, he conceives a brilliant idea. Discreetly, he drafts a plan. Will he achieve his goal and make his girlfriend happy when the plan is successfully executed? Or will someone intervene? The danger of a cybercriminal can come from anywhere, and they can wreak havoc when they strike successfully. Are you prepared for when chaos strikes?

ISBN: 978–94–645–0579–5
ISBN: 978–94–645–0579–5

A small excerpt from the ‘Oops, I did it again’

I am observing a building across the street. People are coming and going from that building. Hmm, that is interesting. What’s going on over there? I need something to drink or eat to make it less obvious that I am actively observing that building.

Ah, I see a Starbucks. I order a large coffee and some cookies, something to consume while I observe. I softly place my bag on the table, I open it and silently switch on a device. Within seconds, some LEDs start to flicker softly. Just for a few seconds, and then all the LEDs turn solid green.

While the device is booting, I am looking for my notebook and a pen. As I am sipping my coffee and eating my cookies, I continue to observe, and I make some scribbles and drawings in my notebook. I order some more coffee.

After five pages of scribbles and drawings, I decide I have enough intelligence gathered for today. I put the notebook and pen back in the bag and silently switch off the device. I say good evening to the staff behind the counter as I leave Starbucks.

It is almost seven o’clock in the evening when I arrive home. The traveling has made me hungry again. I walk toward my desk and switch on the monitor. I open a browser and type “takeaway.com” to order some food that can be delivered quickly for me and my girlfriend. Jennifer should be home any minute now.

While I am on my laptop, I also open a terminal server session and type “sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y”. It is always a good idea to have the latest and greatest tools available on your KALI machine. A significant upgrade is waiting for me. The system patiently waits for me to confirm if I want to continue. Once the update is installed and the upgrade process is completed, I grab the bag and fetch the USB cable.

Ding-dong, Ding-dong. The doorbell rings. Cool, the food has arrived. I walk to the door to collect the food. While I am at the door, I see my girlfriend and say, “Hi, Jen. Nice timing. Dinner is ready.” and give her a quick kiss. Dinner is a nice, warm, freshly-made pizza. That will provide enough energy for what I am about to do. Together, we watch some TV while enjoying our dinner.

Jennifer: “Thanks for the pizza. It was lovely. But now, it’s back to studying. In a few weeks, we need to face the music and take what are hopefully our last exams before we can start writing our master’s theses. Luckily, there are no dishes to be cleaned. See you in a few hours, I guess.”

Me: “Yeah, I know, exams. But once they’re done, it’ll be time to party. Spring Break parties.”

Jennifer loves to party. I return to my desk and look at the screen. “Do you want to reboot now [Y/N]?” is displayed on the screen. I press Y to do it now.

After the reboot is finished, I log in and open another terminal session. I type “./downloadRecon.sh” and press Enter. “Please connect the USB cable and press Enter”. I insert the USB cable and press Enter. The system shows a progress indicator. Slowly, the number increases until it reaches one hundred. A new message appears on the screen: “Download completed, analyzing contents”.

After some time, a new window automatically opens. Yeah, it is my lucky day. While the device was switched on, it captured several WIFI SSIDs. Most SSID names were not hidden. I smile. Just as expected, I see familiar names like Starbucks and Pizza King.

The list of captured SSIDs is quite extensive. I am not really surprised about that. The Starbucks location where I was is close to a residential area and that means a lot of WIFI networks. But as I scroll through the list, I also see the SSIDs from the building that I was observing: HQGuest and HQEmployee. I quickly look at the ENC and AUTH columns.



Richard de Vries

A passionate security professional who shares his knowledge, wisdom, and experiences to make the world a little bit more secure.