My software speaks to me once again from a distant past. I recognize the voice but do not know why it alerts me of changes to a system decommissioned years ago. Can I figure out how to stop this robot? Do I care?
I get email alerting me of updates I didn't make. A small team once exercised control over the sprawling first wiki. That system has been replaced, rewritten in new technology, but appendages must remain animated by cron jobs on forgotten computers doing once useful work.
I am reminded of a forgotten device left in a drawer somewhere using what remains of a failing battery to let out an occasional beep. A cry for help. But not frequent enough that I can find which drawer and put the device out of its misery.
The email has a return address and a body that explains the nature of the alert. Its from a cron job on c2.com in a co-location facility downtown. But the sender, a script, thinks it describes human activity.
It thinks a team member has made an adjustment. But an adjustment to what purpose? There can be no purpose. Another robot perhaps. One launched without discussion to help one member of the team back then and now forgotten in some server drawer on another continent?
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cron Daemon) To: email@example.com Subject: cd /home/httpd/virt/; ./recent.pl; http://c2.com/w4/stewards/changes.cgi * BlockingTheOnionRouter
I follow the link. Login required. I think back many passwords. Maybe? No. Maybe? No. Maybe? I'm in.
I find a dusty wiki last edited in 2011. Last edited except for this one page, a list of blocks, with dates attached to each. They appear a few times a year, posted from some other cron job no doubt. Like a dead drop.
I should change the password. That would slam the door on the rogue script. Maybe its creator would notice an euthanize it. Yes, I should change the password someday.