weathering the coming financial crisis the hacker's way

Everyone, except for the cyborgs, is nervous about the storms that are raging through the global financial system. Giants of finance and insurance have keeled over in mid-step or been picked off by bigger dinosaurs. Even trusted banks such as Washington Mutual are hemorraghing assets. What should we do? cry the humans. Should we grab all our funds and turn them into gold? And weapons? Whom will save us?

First of all, it's who, not whom. Come on, humans. Second, in times of crisis, do like the cyborgs do: hack your way to riches and fame and financial security.

Step 1: Hack your Bank!

For the unitiated, hacking sounds formidable. Fortunately Hollywood has provided a complete guide for 'newbies'. Posing as an up-and-coming executive for your bank, call the night security guard at the place where your bank keeps its big supercomputer. Tell the guard that you need the IP address on the bottom of the modem (the IP address is the modem's 'phone number') in order to access your files. If he or she balks at your request, tell him that your ass is on the line. Then say, "C'mon, man, help me out here". This works every time.

Once you have the IP address, type it into your computer somewhere. If you do it correctly, your computer screen will start turning all kinds of colours and Greek symbols and numbers will fly across the screen. This is your cue to start typing madly. I'm not sure what you're supposed to type at this point, but in all honesty I don't think it matters. Eventually you will break through the symbols and come to core of the supercomputer. The core will look something like this:

Congratulations! You have successfully hacked your bank's computer.

Step 2: Find your Files!

Do not worry about security at this point. Unless the designer of the system happens to be on the system at the very same time, your presence will likely go undetected. If you do happen encounter this man, though, run like hell. Above all do not ask him any questions:


'Hack along' through the corridors until you locate a file called "Your Savings Account" or something similar. Select the file, right-click and select "Copy".

Step 3: Show Yourself the Money!

Now that you have your funds, you want to 'deposit' them on your computer - which, as everyone knows, is way more secure than some giant bank of cooled servers with multiple backups. Am I right? You don't know those servers, but you sure know your home computer, with its gigabytes of storage capacity. Right-click on the desktop, select "Paste," and voila: your money is now safe and secure on your computer.

Step 4 (optional): Protect yourself!

Up until now, everything I've suggested has been with the intent of protecting your money in these uncertain times. But what if you need even more protection? As all rich people know, the best protection you can buy is more money. While you were hacking through the supercomputer core of your bank, you probably noticed many other accounts. But which accounts should you take notice of? The ones with the most money, obviously. A rule of thumb for finding the accounts with the most money is to look for the largest file. Duh.

Congratulations on your newfound wealth and security! You'll need it to buy yourself a place in the cyborg society of the near, near, so very near future. Ah crap, here they are.