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HALOwned


Yesterday, I was witness to one of the most brutal pwnings that the world has ever seen. It was so thorough, so complete, that I am still in awe of the situation. Let me explain…

Tuesday, yesterday, was April 1st. April Fools Day. But somehow, we as humans have a tendency to completely ignore that fact on this day, even if it is brought to our attention multiple times. We know its April Fools Day, and even though strange, wonderful things tend to happen, we just wish for the best and ignore the fact that theres a 99% chance that someone is just fucking with us. Such was true for a sales rep at my work…who, for sake of keeping his identity a secret, we’ll just call “Master Chief”.

I’m sitting in my office, working hard, productivity through the roof as usual, when Master Chief walks in with a huge grin on his face. “Dude, Guess What!” he yells, obviously he can barely wait to tell us something. At this point, I have temporarily forgotten that it is indeed April Fools Day, and I want to know what he is so excited about. “I got an email from someone at Bungie Software – they want to sign a 10,000 seat deal with us! And they offered me a tour of their headquarters!”

Before I go any further, let me explain that Master Chief is an avid HALO player, ranking pretty high on XBOX Live. I dabble in the HALO arts, but he is in a clan and plays pretty regularly…I have respect for his HALO skills.

He continues on… “It sounds legit, but they have some pretty serious technical questions that I’m not sure how to answer, so I’m going to have to bring in one of our sales engineers to answer them.” At this point, I put 2 + 2 together and realize its a pretty huge coincidence that a huge HALO fan (a fact which is pretty well known around the office) has been contacted by the company who made his absolute, all time, favorite game and wants to buy software from him.

“Master Chief,” I ask, “How did they get your work email address?” I learn that apparently he has it listed on his clan website as well as XBOX Live profile. Logical, I think, since we are an antivirus software vendor, and in the realm of the nerd, no one goes unprotected. “Did it come from a Bungie email address?” I query. Yep, turns out it did.

By this point we (Myself, my office mate Matt, and our Buddy Scott) are pretty skeptical, since its cake to spoof an email address. So we tell him to send us the email he received and we’ll dig through the headers and see if we can find anything about its origins. A few minutes later, we receive the following email, immediately clearing up any confusion as to its validity:

From: IT Procurement Staff [mailto:IT Procurement Staff]
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 10:40 AM
To: Master Chief
Subject: Demo Request

Master Chief,

We obtained your contact information from an online message board, and are wondering if you can help us out. We are looking at switching to a new AV provider for our development studios, and would like to give your software a try.

We would like a demo for an intial environment size of about 10,000 machines, about half are running Windows XP Service Pack 3 and the rest are running a modified XBOX 360 firmware that supports connection to analog programming devices. These devices are sensitive to small voltages on the network cable. What is your official small voltage output on network cables while running your software? If it is over 300 millispheres, we may need to recalibrate some systems to support your program.

Please give us a full technical breakdown of your sub-quantum requirements so that I can get the specs to our engineers for evaluation, and contact me if you are interested in an on-site tour of our studios so you can better evaluate our environment.

Thank you for your time,

Gregory Constantine

Bungie Software Production Corp.
P.O. Box 7877
Chicago, IL 60680-7877
(800) 295-0060

I am cracking up by the time I reach the second paragraph. Voltages on the network cable! Millispheres! These were the technical questions he needed to bring in a sales engineer to answer! I instant message him and tell him:

Ian: Master Chief, theres no way that email is legit!
MC: No way, why?
Ian: 300 Millispheres! Theres no way NOD32 can support that! Maybe at 100 millispheres but definitely not any higher than that.
MC: Fuck…
MC: Wait a minute!

at this point I can literally see reality setting in via IM. Turns out one of the guys in Tech Support who knows he’s a big HALO fan had this planned, spoofed the email internally on our exchange server, and pwned the living shit out of him. I haven’t stopped laughing about it since. The only April Fools Day prank I could come up with better than this was to “accidentally” send and email from an engagement ring store to my brothers girlfriend saying that his ring was ready for pickup! But that would have opened a whole different can of worms…one that couldn’t be closed as easily as some good old HALOwning. Hope you had a good April First too!

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