This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran five years ago today.
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ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—
SOUND: Phone rings four times.
JOHNNY: (Telephone Filter) Johnny Atsign, but it’s not really me. It’s my voicemail. I’ve gone fishing, but I’m checking for messages occasionally. If you leave one, I’ll call you back when I get around to it.
ZOMBIE: (Telephone Filter) Johnny, it’s Phil Candler. Give me a call when you get a chance.
MUSIC: Theme up and under.
ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …
JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
JOHNNY: The following is partial extract of the tweets sent and received during my extended investigation of The Undead Matter.
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @Zombie You’re welcome.
JOHNNY: There’s an old saying about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar. It works for cyberthugs as well. A group of activists on the Internet had gathered public data about a cyberstalker known as The Grouch and were looking for a way to authenticate the information. At my suggestion, they set up a “secret” website with the data and other attractive, but relatively unimportant, information. Then, they let the “secret” be compromised. The Grouch found the site, downloaded information, and, because he has little impulse control, bragged about finding it. He even republished some of it and authenticated it in the process.
It was a classic honeypot operation.
Meanwhile, I was taking some time off. I was fly fishing for trout up in the Smokies when I checked my messages and found Candler’s call.
SOUND: (Caller’s POV) Phone rings twice. Line picked up.
ZOMBIE: (Telephone Filter) Hello.
JOHNNY: It’s Johnny Atsign returning your call.
ZOMBIE: (Telephone Filter) Your voicemail message said that you off fishing.
JOHNNY: Yeah. I’m on a little stream up in the Smokies going after trout.
ZOMBIE: (Telephone Filter) How long are you going to be away?
JOHNNY: The rest of the week. Tomorrow, I’m planning to drive west and stay with a friend in Celina. I’m planning to do some fishing on Dale Hollow Reservoir. I’ve heard reports that the walleye are biting.
ZOMBIE: (Telephone Filter) I want to discuss something with you at length and was thinking of doing it when you got back to your office, but I’ve got another idea. I’m going to be in Oak Ridge tomorrow on business. Would you be willing to take a bit of a detour and meet me for lunch?
ANNOUNCER: Mmmm, honey. You know, I like honey in my tea, and I like to drink my tea from my Team Lickspittle Tea Tumbler. Team Lickspittle Tea Tumblers are exclusively available along with lots of other goodies at The Hogewash Store. Stop by today and spend some of your hard earned cash in support of Team Lickspittle. Or hit the Tip Jar. They’re both ways you can support the Team.
JOHNNY: I arranged to meet Candler at the Cracker Barrel at the Harriman Exit on I-40.
SOUND: (Restaurant background)
ZOMBIE: (Fading in) … so the honeypot worked out well this time, but none of The Bomber’s people will be taken in by the same trick again.
JOHNNY: Yeah. As dumb as some of them are, they’ve learned that lesson. So why do you think this other plan might work?
ZOMBIE: Because it’s something mentioned in the edited material we put into the honeypot. They know we have enough sense not to try running another honeypot. I’m betting they’ll assume that we won’t try anything that was discussed on the “secret” site either.
JOHNNY: Kind of like hiding in the open.
JOHNNY: (Fading out) OK, if we make that assumption, then the plan is reasonable. Of course, it needs some polishing up. For example, that …
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @Zombie They’re biting here. Do you have a nibble yet?
MUSIC: Theme up and under
ANNOUNCER: Now, here’s our star to tell you about next week’s intriguing episode of our story.
JOHNNY: Next time? You can’t always get what you want. Join us, won’t you?
Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!
MUSIC: Swell theme and under
ANNOUNCER: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign, starring W. J. J. Hoge, is transcribed in Westminster. Be sure to join us next Monday, same time and URL, for the next exciting episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign.
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
ANNOUNCER: Johnny Atsign is a work of fiction. If anyone thinks it’s about him, he should read Proverbs 28:1.
This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.
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Sometimes they don’t have to bite. In a target rich environment you can just shoot them in the barrel.