I have been giving a talk on “ZeuS Command & Control for Tech Support” that whimsically uses a Trojan horse type of malware to solve commonly reported computer issues. The concept arose from regularly being asked to help friends, family and others fix their computers because I enjoy it.
There may have been a point much earlier in my career when that was true.
Time permitting, not that there is much time to spare, I still do get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside helping out friends. Family is a more complex matter, because it’s you. They know your flaws, secrets, and don’t give a fuck. “Just fix the thing!” “You’re not very patient!” “Why are you so rude!” And several other exclamatory explicatives would be apart of the typical “customer service” engagement.
I decided to share this in a blog because while on a business trip and dealing with delayed flights, resulting in missed connections, adding in a city not on the original itinerary and hours of delays due to “lovely” Chicago weather; my wonderful wife asked me to help her reboot the at&t gateway for U-verse to get back online.
Having noticed earlier in the day that the SSL VPN I run from my home, the gateway to SchwartzNet Labs, was down. I sent her a couple unanswered text messages to confirm that the unresponsive SSL VPN and Minecraft server were not on fire. Children were crying.
She eventually replied to the email I sent her on the same topic confirming…
the tubz were downz.
She called at&t where they confirmed that there was a network outage in the area due to harsh weather. She needed to reboot the router for everything to come back online. OK, simple enough.
Please keep in mind that my wife is self-admittedly “low tech.” I love her dearly and that this isn’t an insult to her, but rather a comedic tale of how even ZeuS Command & Control for Tech Support couldn’t have helped. She edited this article to her approval prior to publishing.
On this night of SchwartzNet Labs doomsday, she had to get online by midnight and of course…watch her DVR’ed shows. While I waited inside the Los Angeles airport for the air vessel to be ready to receive it’s new human cargo, this was the SMS exchange we had to reboot the router.
After the final SMS in this exchange, I decided to call her and go old school using a smartphone to talk her through the process. By the time she answered her smartphone, the router was already powering up. Everything worked perfectly!
I hope you enjoyed this comedic glimpse into my personal life and how us “techies” can learn to be a bit more patient with our customers.
Especially when the customers are our loved ones.
No security, no privacy. Know security, know privacy.