Email exchanges with Dana Awbrey

Listed here are emails sent to and received from Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> organised in chronological order.

I would like to request the headers of the messages that can be extracted using many different programs. Please insert them within each of the messages. I am specifically interested in the time of day the messages were sent at. The more information, the better.

Any emails sent to Dana which have /not/ received an email can be found EmailsWithoutResponses.

July 2004

Friday 16th

<dl> <dt>Marc Mielke (Temporis) wrote</dt> <dd><p>I can see you have been troubled by a strange hacker. As a technical services worker, I find your problem quite interesting. Perhaps I can help, though security is more the forte of a friend of mine than my own. Please keep me up to date on your site's odd behavior.</p> <p>Your intruder seems to like classic children's literature.</p> <p>-- Marc</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>Hi Marc,</p> <p>hmmm... children's literature... elaborate? </p> <p>thanks for helping me tackle this problem, much obliged...! </p> <p>d.</p></dd>

<dt>Marc Mielke (Temporis) replied</dt> <dd><p>I'm glad you were able to respond so quickly.<br /> The references I mentioned are very odd, and range from The Tempest, to Gulliver's Travels, and to Treasure Island. Some of these can be seen in the type obscuring your aunt's page. (If you highlight the type).</p> <p>Some friends of mine found a more interesting location for text: throughout your site, many of the photos appear damaged or somehow broken: this is because of hidden text! If you try opening these in Notepad, text is revealed!</p> <p>By the way, I have a friend who is interested in Chinese culture and in fact just returned from there! Maybe I should encourage him to contact you sometime. I'm certain you may have much to discuss.</p> <p>-M</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>whoah.<br /> (taking in the hidden texts you pointed me toward)<br /> must process.<br /> many many thanks for pointing this out.<br /> -d.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>irongoddess wrote</dt> <dd><p>Hey Dana,</p> <p>Just thought I'd drop a note and see if you needed any help with the bugs... no doubt you've had a veritable flurry of response to your blog, but nonetheless I'm volunteering my bit of expertise (web design, some science background, etc.).</p> <p>Best</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>Hi Eve,</p> <p>thanks much for the note, good to have someone with your expertise on board (what kind of science?)... I would definitely love to know if you can spot anything that I've missed on the site, or just get your ideas in general about what's going on. I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around it.</p> <p>d.</p></dd> </dl>

Saturday 17th

<dl> <dt>Indigo (weyrdchic) wrote</dt> <dd><p>Hi there! Just wanted to say that I'm part of all these people willing to help with the hacks to your site, and if there's anything I can do let me know. Will post in your blog as well.</p> <p>Regarding the site, do either of you have any enemies or anyone that might have wanted to prank you? I know, you're just keeping bees and selling honey, probably wouldn't get many people angry, but I wanted to cover all my bases. Including the fact that, if you check some of the messages this person is putting up, it might be some kind of cry for help too. No idea who or why they'd use your site. Again, maybe you do.</p> <p>Hope I can help!</p> <p>-Indigo</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>Hi Indigo,</p> <p>Thanks for joining forces, it helps to not be wrestling with this thing all by myself.</p> <p>Can't think of anyone who would do this as a prank... no one has ever complained about Aunt M's honey, and my friends know better than to mess with my family. the cry for help theory is really interesting, though... I don't have any ideas about that off the top of my head, but I'm going to mull it over, thanks.</p> <p>See you on the blog, I hope? (</p> <p>d.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>Marie (Gupfee) wrote</dt> <dd><p>Weird stuff. Are you sure one of your friends isn't pranking you?</p> <p>Why are you going to China?</p> <p>Marie, just curious</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>it seemed prankster to me at first, too... but it wouldn't be playing fair to mess with my Aunt Margaret, so I'm pretty sure my friends aren't behind this. Plus, I've been so freaked, I'm sure my friends would have 'fessed up by now if they had anything to do with it.</p> <p>Why China‰??. You sound like my parents, lol. Mostly, I want to walk down some streets that I've never seen before and be around people who've never seen me before. Does that make sense?</p> <p>d.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>RobMagus wrote</dt> <dd><p>Hello Dana! I've joined the group trying to help with your problem.</p>

<p>First thing:<br /> When I look at some of the older posts in your blog, they link to a post titled "Let's Squash This Sucker". When I click on the link, however, it goes to a "not found" page in blogger. Could you possibly recall that post?</p>

<p>Also:<br /> Was your aunt's honey business affiliated with any other businesses?<br /> Did she sell honey to any people that struck you as odd?</p> <p>Hope I can help!</p> <p>- RobMagus</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd> <p>Hi Rob,</p> ai! the Blogger server appears to be stickier than Aunt M's honey. originally I had a post up under "let's squash this sucker", and then a friend of mine suggested that "squash this sucker" might be interpreted as an invitation for hackers to come make an even bigger mess of the site. So, he suggested that I make my plea for help in slightly less incendiary language. I did, and now I don't know why Blogger still has a record of that deleted post.<br /> However... I must say, I am greatly heartened by your attention to detail! this bodes well for uncovering the source of the bug/virus/whatever, don't you think?<br /> keep poking! and let me know what you find... see you on the blog.</p> <p>d.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>jamesi wrote</dt> <dd><p>I'm not much of an expert, but I can see your website is having, er, 'issues'. Did you try re-uploading the files from your local computer back into the web directory?</p> <p>jamesi</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>Hi Jamesi,</p> <p>My aunt is (understandably) a bit freaked out by everything that's going on with the site, and as the officially designated debugger of the family, she's forwarding all recent site-related mail on to me.</p> <p>I did try re-uploading all the files from my hard drive to the web directory, when the site first went wonky. (Back then it was just a little wonky, not the full-blown mess it is now). It helped for about a day, and then it started acting strangely again. That was about 2 weeks ago. I was able to get it to act normally by reloading a few times, early on, but since then, it's only gotten worse, no matter what I try.</p> <p>ideas? anything theories you have (maybe add to the blog?) would really help, I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around this problem.</p> <p>d.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>irongoddess wrote</dt> <dd><p>Margaret,</p> <p>Howdy! Saw your site today... it's a little wonky, but I wanted to find out more about ordering honey. Do you have any price lists or additional info?</p> <p>Thanks,<br /> Eve</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>Hi again Eve,</p> <p>My aunt is (understandably) a bit freaked out by everything that's going on with the site, and as the officially designated debugger of the family, she's forwarding all recent site-related mail on to me.</p> <p>The honey's on backorder right now because of a varrao infestation in her hives. But I'll be happy to let you know when Aunt M's back in business.</p> <p>d.</p> <p>p.s. wonky is exactly the word I used to describe the site meltdown when I first saw it!</p></dd> </dl>

Sunday 18th

<dl> <dt>Omni wrote</dt> <dd><p>Hey, a fellow gmail user! Nice, isn't it?</p> <p>Anyway, I visited your aunt's bee page and then found your blog from there. You drink mat̩ too? Isn't it wonderful stuff? Where did you come across it? I first tried it while spending a summer in Chile, and have been ordering it on the internet ever since. Got me through several study nights when coffee wouldn't have been enough. Mmmmmm. Have you tried it with honey? Presumably you have, but it doesn't hurt to ask. A wonderful combination, that is.</p> <p>To get back on topic here, I have some limited html/web experience...I don't know what to do about your site just yet, but I'll keep looking. In the meantime, good luck!</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>matĚ© is so amazing‰?? a few years ago a friend of mine came back from a trip to Paraguay with a bunch of mate and a cow's horn with a little metal straw drilled into it, and we drank the matĚ© out of the horn. Definitely my all-nighter brew of choice.</p> <p>Thank you for throwing your oar into the web site mess with me. Let me know if you think of anything I've missed so far.</p> <p>d.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>Firebee (fireball) wrote</dt> <dd><p>Hi Dana,<br /> I saw your blog post, and if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.</p> <p>--<br /> --<br /> Toodle-oo,<br /> Firebee</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>hey firebee,</p> <p>(nice handle, btw... somehow despite always hanging around my Aunt M, I never got a bee nickname...!)</p> <p>right now, I'd just love to hear any theories you might have, I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around any of it, and I worry that we'd better figure something out before that countdown runs out....</p> <p>d.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>ThePhoenix (sauceykat) wrote</dt> <dd><p>Hi Dana,<br /> further to my comment on your blog, I just wanted to introduce myself. I go by the handle ThePhoenix, to protect my identity as I am often involved in some rather precarious research for my clients. Myself and a large group of my colleagues are very willing to help you out pro-bono. It would really help our efforts if you can give us any and all information you have regarding your website intrusion. Specifically:</p> <p>-When did the strange text first appear on your aunt's website?<br /> -Is there anybody who would want to do this to you on purpose? (ie. you mentioned you wanted to go to Asia because you were "tired of being so...known"). If you are somebody who was famous or high-profile, that could make you a target.<br /> -Have you observed any other strange phenomena such as odd emails with garble, strange phone calls, etc. that you may have just ignored/overlooked?</p> <p>Thanks for your assistance. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for us to assist you.</p> <p>Sincerely,</p> <p>ThePhoenix</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>Dear ThePhoenix,</p> <p>Thank you for offering the services of you and your colleagues. I'll tell you as much as I can, although honestly, I'm not sure how much more helpful information I have to offer. (Although I promise to keep thinking and trying to remember anything that might shed light on this.)</p> <p>For starters, I can try to give you the most complete chronology, this is as accurately as I can remember:<br /> - Launched the site in early June.<br /> - The site crashed early in July... it the beginning of the 4th of July weekend, so I guess it was probably the 2nd. It was totally dead for a day.<br /> - Got it back up the next day. Everything was fine. But within a few hours, it was wonky again. Minor stuff: images and text slightly glitchy.<br /> - Image and text glitches got worse over the course of the next week, week and a half.<br /> - The warning text and countdown showed up on the 14th.</p> <p>As for the Asia trip, and the stuff about being "known"... not about fame, just about feeling too familiar to everyone and everything around me. I can't remember the last time I walked into a room that didn't already know what to do with me. I need to have some first-times, somewhere new. Do you know what I mean?</p> <p>Best,<br /> Dana</p></dd> </dl>

Monday 19th

<dl> <dt>Lysithea wrote</dt> <dd><p>Hi Dana,</p> <p>Your aunt's site is now very strange. Like you, I'm not sure what it is all about just yet, but I'd like you to know that I am one of the many people pondering this conundrum.<br /> I wonder if you have tried to communicate with the personality which is leaving those curious snippets on the site.<br /> I would love to support you and your aunt by buying some honey, but I doubt Australian customs would let me receive it.<br /> Hang in there, if nothing else, more of the puzzle will be revealed as the countdowns end.</p> <p>Puzzled and intruiged,<br /> Lysithea</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><dd><p>communicating with the thing... hmmmm.</p> <p>that makes sense... and yet sort of scares me at the same time.</p> <p>so far, it hasn't exactly been friendly. I wonder if engaging it would help or make things worse.</p> <p>Of course, it's sort of a moot question, because I wouldn't even know how to go about communicating with whoever/whatever it is...</p> <p>maybe if I understood its motives a little better, I would feel safer reaching out. Does that make sense?</p></dd></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>Angela (aiesha_anonymous) wrote</dt> <dd><p>Hi Dana</p> <p>I see from your blog that you've already had numerous offers of help.</p> <p>I guess maybe it would help to try and determine whether this is a specific or random attack? What I mean is, is it just an accident that your Aunt's site was targeted or is it somehow related to you, your Aunt or her business?</p> <p>Does the text that appears on the ilovebees site mean anything to you?<br /> It appears to be some kind of distress call which may or may not be genuine. Perhaps your response to it will give you some kind of a clue as to where it originates from?</p> <p>I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. Keep me informed. I'm happy to brainstorm with you.</p> <p>Take care,<br /> Angela</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>Hi Angela,<br /> Those are exactly the questions I've been asking myself. I guess I'm hoping it's random, because I hate to think anyone who knows me or Aunt M would go to such lengths to upset us. I mean, Aunt M is REALLY upset about this, and I feel horrible for not knowing enough to fix it for her. She trusts me to be able to handle things like this, and so far with this particular bug... well, you can see I haven't lived up to that trust. Argh.<br /> Anyway, neither the mayday message nor any of the hidden texts we've found so far have any special meaning to me, or my Aunt-- although I'm still digging through them. If anything resonates, I'll let everyone know.<br /> Thanks again for continuing to ask good questions. I'm sure we'll hit on the right ones soon.<br /> -d.</p></dd> </dl>

Tuesday 20th

<dl> <dt>Rowan (rowan72) wrote</dt> <dd><p>Dana,</p> <p>A few friends of mine told me about the problems you were having on your website. I don't know how much technical support I can offer, but I do have plenty of moral support to pass around.</p> <p>Part of the reason I'm writing is that I noticed on the site that the recipe for the Honey-Glazed Lemon Chicken wasn't linked from the main page. I happened to find it because I noticed the links went from recipe2 to recipe4. Was there a reason for leaving it off? I didn't see a link to it in the pictures you posted of the links page on your blog either. I'm just glad I found it. All I eat is chicken and I'm always looking for more good recipes and this one looks great! As soon as the contractors finish my new kitchen, I'm going to try it out.</p> <p>I'm sorry I can't be of more help to you with your technical problems. But, if you ever need a sympathetic ear, please don't hesitate to write me back.</p> <p>Rowan</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>hi Rowan,</p> <p>moral support appreciated as much as tech support right now.<br /> given the utter futility so far of tech intervention, in fact, perhaps more so.</p> <p>so you've found the efendi secret family recipe for chicken! I guess my vegetarian bias is subconsciously at work... how passive-aggressive of me to leave the chicken recipe off the sidebar, lol. thanks for pointing that out.</p> <p>okay, back to obsessing over the latest hack (hotmail hijacking) and its implications</p> <p>(head spins)</p> <p>-d.</p></dd> </dl>

Wednesday 21st

<dl> <dt>xnbomb wrote:</dt> <dd>Greetings Dana,

I'm one of the folks out there who has seen your blog and your aunt's web site, and has taken an interest in your problem.

We've managed to extract a good amount of information from the web site, and it's starting to suggest some interesting things. In my opinion, there are four distinct kinds of information that have been inserted into the website:

1) The first is the most obviously seen, and it looks like the console output from a computer program. It seems to be a system designed to repair another damaged system. It seems to call itself System Peril Distributed Reflex, or SPDR (Spider?) for short. It's goal seems to be to repair the other system that it is designed to protect, and it is not necessarily intending to harm anyone or anything else, BUT it is totally focused on this task and will not let anything get in the way.

2) The next kind of information that is nearly as obvious is what we have dubbed the Mayday text. This is also text that you can see superimposed in the web pages. It seems to be originating from something that communicates more like we do. It seems likely that these are the scrambled thoughts of the entity that the SPDR is repairing (I write this based on the fact that these texts include references along the lines of 'the spider must be working on me').

3) The third source of data is more hidden. As others have no doubt told you, the reason some of the image files seem screwed up is that there has been text inserted into them. Enterprising colleagues of mine (Rose and Strifey) have collected all the snippets and managed to assemble them into a story. Without getting into the details, the synopsis is: A Queen is wounded and trapped. Her faithful servant, known as the Widow, takes up her task to repair her Queen and does so. By easy analogy, the Widow would seem to be the SPDR, repairing the author of the Mayday text, the Queen.

4) The last kind of information is a single message that appears superimposed on the web page, but is formatted differently from the rest. It reads "Seek the truth, Behold the truth, Reveal the truth, That is the law and the whole of the law". It's less obvious where this fits into the picture. I have some ideas about this, but it's not terribly important at this point.

I've glossed over a lot of the detail because I'm not sure how much you want to read. If you're interested in the complete texts, I can send them to you.

For whatever reason, your aunt's web site has become the location where something potentially extraordinary is taking place. While it could just be hackers messing with you, I don't think that is the case. I'd like to suggest a more fantastic and harder to believe explanation. At the minimum, it seems that one digital entity is repairing another, and somehow your aunt's web site has become the medium through which we can witness these events and potentially communicate with their actors. This aspect of communication is a recent development. Clearly, they are able to communicate with us through changing the web site, but it now seems we are able to communicate with them as well and they can respond.

It seems that snippets of various emails that have been sent to you by my colleagues have been reassembled and sent back, apparently originating from your aunt's hotmail address. Here's the content of that email:

keep me

odd behavior cry for help

I'm using it to make some of the messages have ever put together some of the messages

Just wanted to say that I'm not odd behavior but I danger of voodoo witch that runs smear into the web the forte the web the forte including the any enemies

I am sorry

Just wanted to say

Just wanted to say

Just wanted to say

Just wanted to say

I'm not much of an expert

But I wanted

I wanted to find out more about ordering

some of the messages

the forte

I can see the forte

problem quite interesting

No idea who I'm part of

have any enemies

voodoo witch voodoo parents

voodoo witch that runs into the web

voodoo parents wanted to cover all my

together a home the forte of voodoo parents of mine

voodoo parents keep me

I wanted to find out more

I wanted to find out if there's anything I can do

problem quite interesting

time of need

I wanted to say that I'm using it some of the messages be some kind of cry for help

and if there's warning voodoo parents of cry for help

voodoo parents wanted to cover all my odd behavior into the web

and if you check it might be some kind of seductive danger of get many people angry,

‰??but I wanted to find all these people willing to help very nice

problem quite interesting


This would seem to be a message from one of the entities I've described above, likely the Mayday author. I'm not really sure what it means at this point. But it tells us that we can communicate with these entities using email. In the absence of having a clear idea of just what is going on, the first priority is to communicate, that is how we can learn more. As I wrote above, it's at least possible that we've stumbled across something extraordinary here, and our first priority must be to learn all that we can about it.

It's for that reason that I'm going to suggest that you take no further action that interferes with what's going on at There's another reason too, one slightly more disturbing. Consider these two passages, the first from the beginning (?) of the SPDR console output, the second from the end of the tale hidden in the images:


Control has been yielded to the SYSTEM PERIL DISTRIBUTED REFLEX.

This medium is classified, and has a STRONG INTRUSIVE INCLINATION.

In 11 days, network throttling will erode.

In 25 days this medium will metastasize.


Make your decisions accordingly.

At the feel of the Queen's pulse beneath her bony fingers, the Widow next took thought to proclaim through all the kingdom and into other lands that time when her sovereign would once more be fit to rule. A firefly flew out from the Queen's clockcase. Catching it in her hands, the Widow asked it the time. "Almost dawn," it said, but the Widow said, "The day will break and the sun will rise when the Queen returns to rule, and further let it be known that retribution on any who hinder the return of the Queen will be swift and terrible."

Together, they seem to tell us when the Widow/SPDR has announced when it will be finished its work and the Queen/Mayday author will be fully repaired and operational. There is also a significant warning, namely that any interference with that process will be regarded as a hostile act, and will be responded to accordingly. I don't know what the SPDR is capable of, but I'm not sure I want to find out.

It's for this reason that I suggest that you don't do anything else to get in the way of this business. If your aunt's business needs a functioning web site immediately, purchase her a new and similarly named domain and get her web site going there ( is available, for example). But let this follow its course ... while it could just be some hackers being jerks, there is at least a chance that this is something unique and important and wonderful, a window on a world that we may have never seen before, nor will ever see again.

Cheers, xnbomb</dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd>highly persuasive email.<br> you seem to have an unusally good fix on this situation. I'm in processing mode, attempting to form coherent thoughts... want to compose a reply to you in public, on the blog, but right now, head spinning, stomach queasy and uneasy from the hotmail hijack. more soon.<br> many many many thanks.<br> -D.

p.s. may I share some of your email with others helping to investigate?</dd>

<dt>xnbomb replied:</dt> <dd>Dana,

You certainly may share. Now that I've seen that you've received my message (and it hasn't been intercepted by other entities), I'll share our correspondance with my colleagues as well.

xnbomb</dd> </dl>

<i>-- whereupon Dana posted xnbomb's comments on her [WWW]blog on Friday, July 23, 2004.</i>

<dl> <dt>CrYpT0 wrote:</dt> <dd>Hi Dana,

Allow me to introduce myself... I am also part of the team trying to figure out what happened to your aunts site..

I have a lot of expertise in computers and things.

I am sorry to what has happened to your site and I reinsure you that we will out whats going and on and alert you of what we have found...</dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd>thanks, good to have you aboard.<br> right now, grappling with another weird development (hotmail hack)<br> head spinning, queasy and uneasy, etc.<br> will post more coherent thoughts to the blog soon.</dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>alaranth wrote:</dt> <dd><p>Hi Dana! I heard about your web page issues through a number of friends and thought I'd toss myself out there to offer assistance if I can. :)</p> <p>I'm working on my MS in Information Technology, including coursework in computer security, but this apparent hijacking is something I've never come across before. I believe someone asked what other sites are being hosted by your web hosting company. Do you know if any of them are having issues as well? The whole text about 'metastasizing', in combination with the code relating to 'recurse' makes it seem like this isn't just a one-time thing and that, like a virus, it's going to reproduce. If other sites from that main server are having issues too, then it definitely seems more like a funky network intrusion.</p> <p>Also, do you have access to the server logs for that machine? If you know about when it was "taken over", maybe you can track down an IP or hostname that seems weird?</p> <p>Hope this helps some, and good luck with everything! :D</p> <p>-Sara</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd><p>Hi Sara, </p> <p>great suggestions, unfortunately didn't turn anything up -- hope you saw the comments I added to the blog the other night in response. right now, head spinning from recent developments (hotmail hack), attempting to form coherent thoughts...</p> <p>many thanks for your ideas so far.</p> <p>-D.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>strifey (strife777) sent in the Widow's TheStory</dt>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><dd><p>well there's a story entirely unfit for bedtime.<br /> beautiful but quite ominous at the same time, isn't it?...<br /> thanks much for sending. yours was the first entirely put together version I've seen. I can't imagine how many hours that must have taken. I'm humbled by the effort. (yours, and I imagine some collaborators)<br /> processing of story begins. (as soon as mind gets unpreoccupied by latest mess: the hotmail hijacking.)<br /> -D.</p> <p>p.s. hands better, thanks. head, still spinning, stomach, queasy and uneasy... but hands, better.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>KenM wrote:</dt> <dd>Hi Dana,

This is KenM. I left a message on your answering machine last night, don't know if you got it, but I directed you to a site ( where some of us have been assembling the story fragments from the text embedded in the corrupted images on the site. It's a nice little story, creepy, but nice.

With that said, I did come up with one possible idea concerning the motive of the apparent hacker on your site. The text that appears on the site pages as well as embedded in the pictures both concern spiders and/or spider infestation. Your site also mentions a recent problem with the honey: varrao mite infestation. A mite is an arachnid.. a kind of spider. Do you think these two events may be related? Do you even suppose that the hacker infesting your site could possibly have been responsible for infesting your Aunt's honey? If so they 1) have an apparent spider fixation and 2) they are not your friend.

I hope we can help you figure out who, and why, that is. Some more information might be useful. Perhaps as a start you might tell us more about how and when the varrao mite problem began?</dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd>Hi Ken,<br> sorry I missed your voice mail message. my deleting finger is on trigger-happy mode... so many hang-ups recently. dozens. v. infestations, apparently, not terribly out of the ordinary... Aunt M was much less disconcerted by that than the site bugs. right now, mind preoccupied with latest hack (the hotmail hijacking) and struggling to form coherent thoughts...<br> -d.</dd> </dl>

Thursday 22nd

<dl> <dt>krystyn wrote:</dt> <dd>Dana,

I don't even know you, but my pal Steve pointed me to your site. I find it incredibly odd that despite re-loading the site that it still appears corrupted like that. I'd totally fire your ISP, if I were you.

Hope your hands feel better soon! Ow! It makes my head hurt just to think of it. Sympathy pain and all.

- Krystyn</dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd>hi Krystyn,<br> good to meet you even under these bizarre circumstances...<br> -D.<br> p.s. a glitter book sounds like an excellent thing to have.</dd> </dl>

Friday 23rd

<dl> <dt>xnbomb wrote</dt> <dd>Dana,

Can your aunt still get into her hotmail account at this point? We're wondering if 'they' have taken control of it entirely ... if they have, we're willing to try and get in there. Naturally, we don't want to try and get into the account if your aunt's password is still working and she can still use the account. We want to help, not to mess things up. Please advise.

Cheers, xnbomb</dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd>we can still get in, thanks for asking. no need for you or anyone else to poke around in the hotmail, thanks.... but if any more weirdness transpires in there, I'll let you know. so far, the account's been quiet as far as I can tell for a few days now...<br> -d.</dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>Etymologician wrote</dt> <dd><p>Hi, Dana. I'm one of the folks who's been helping you out over the last few days (Marc, xnbomb, etc.). I just wanted to send you a note to give my personal support. I know you're stressed about this whole thing, and the crazy conspiracy theorists from slashdot can't be helping. I agree with whoever recommended turning off your comments. As you said, too much noise, not enough signal.</p> <p>I am curious about a couple of things... Where did "twing" come from? I assumed that was your last name until my collegues started getting emails from Ms. Awbrey. Also, how are you and your Aunt doing, aside from being concerned by the internet problems? Have you told your mom? And, if I'm not getting too personal, is your dad in the picture? Every little detail helps. I certainly don't want to find out what happens when that counter hits zero. Hopefully, whatever this thing is will continue to communicate through the hotmail account.</p> <p>I hope you have some stress-relief planned for the weekend! Have a good one.</p> <p>The Etymologician</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>hi etymologician,</p> <p>twing is just a word I like. sort of a personal mantra, or sound effect I have been known to make. among other meanings, this one is my favorite:<br /> [WWW]<br /> as for the family questions... I am going to ignore them, if you don't mind.<br /> -d.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>Mos wrote</dt> <dd><p>I can only see one possibility for dealing with your problem. It appears that the website has been taken over by a race of superintelligent bees. The more I think about it, the more obvious it becomes. There is but one solution. You must create a bee suit, and blend in with a nearby colony. Learn their language, their secrets, slowly gain their trust and loyalty. Report back to us with anything you discover.</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>lol.<br /> thanks, I needed to smile after today.<br /> -d.</p></dd> </dl>

Saturday 24th

<dl> <dt>alaranth wrote:</dt> <dd><p>Hey there, Dana. :) How's the start of your weekend going?</p> <p>Getting excited about your trip? I am so jealous! The school I was taking classes at last year was doing a summer 5-week trip to China, but they ended up cancelling it due to SARS and terrorism threats. Bah. :P Travelling is sooo much fun. I backpacked around Europe 3 years ago, and I just got back last month from a 10-day trip to Israel. So much fun.</p> <p>Good luck with packing! If you haven't bought everything you need yet, I found that having a small travel alarm, an inflatable travel pillow, and a blanket were three of the best things to have. Especially if you're going to be travelling around on buses or trains for long periods of time, curling up with a blanket and a pillow is very nice. ;)</p> <p>-Sara</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd><p>hi Sara,</p> <p>that's really sweet packing advice. you're totally right, I should dig around for something comfy to take with me. I have a confession: my absolute worst habit in the world is "accidentally" taking airline blankets with me when I get off the plane. (I know, that's so horrible!) I used to be afraid of flying, and now they're like little survivor tokens for me.</p> <p>so much to do before leaving next week! I know I said I'd leave the site alone for a little while, but I'm toying with the idea of giving it one more shot before the trip. Poor Aunt M.</p> <p>-d.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>On Sat, 24 Jul 2004 19:29:18 -0400, Mescad <[MAILTO]> wrote:</dt> <dd>Dana,

I've been reading about your problems with Aunt M's site. Have you checked the physical server yet? Maybe someone is messing with the hardware. I dunno, but it's worth a look. :)


P.S. Your voice mail or answering machine, whichever it is, seems to be full. I guess you've got lots of helpers on the job! :)</dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd>Hi Mescad,<br> voice mail, aughhh.... amazing how many people who want to help also seem to want to hang up without saying anything, lol.<br> the hardware tip is a good one. I'm heading out to Aunt M's on Monday, probably, perhaps I'll give it one last check before China.<br> -d.</dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>medox wrote:</dt> <dd><p>Hi Dana!</p> <p>I'll help out any way I can. I'm not the fastest or the most technical-minded person, but I do love a good mystery...</p> <p>-- Medox</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd><p>Hi Medox,</p> <p>well, a mystery it is... welcome aboard, and let me know if you sleuth anything new out. thanks!</p> <p>-d.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>hotblack wrote:</dt> <dd><p>Hi Dana,</p> <p>I've been following what's been going on with your Aunt's website and on the blog over the last few days.. it's all very interesting. It looks as if whatever entity has 'attacked' your site is, more than anything, being curious IMHO. Through the various garbled text, embedded quotes in corrupted images etc it seems to be merely trying to communicate. There are quotes referring to travels, to being abandoned and asking for help, possibly retrieved by the entity from elsewhere on the internet and regurgitated to get it's message across. Then there's the psuedo-terminal access text, possibly the entity communicating with your web-server or some other computer. But how do we communicate with it.. that seems to be the question many are unsure of. I can see only two possibilities from here on for communicating with the entity and finding out more. Firstly via e-mail as has already been mentioned. There may be a special key-phrase that will initiate communication. Or throwing back it's own words to try to cajole a response. Secondly attempting to communicate directly with the entity in traditional computer/networking protocols (telnet, ssh, etc) possibly through your server, as these seems to be the point-of-contact, or if we can find out where it originated, through looking at network logs from your server? Communication via e-mail would seem the safest although more direct communication could be preferable. At the moment your server appears to not be allowing anything other than http communication on the standard services </p> Port State Service <br> 80/tcp open http <br> 135/tcp closed loc-srv <br> 3389/tcp closed ms-term-serv (aka Windows-Based Terminal Standard)<br>


<dt>Dana Awbrey replied:</dt> <dd><p>hi hotblack,</p> <p>yup, still going to China (and a few other countries... Japan, Malaysia, Singapore...). I am worried, though, about going so far away while Aunt M still has to deal with this... I take it you've been over there? any recommendations?</p> <p>your communication ideas are interesting... I may poke at the server myself a little bit before I leave the country, one last try. will keep you updated if I get any responses.</p> -d.</dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>On Sat, 24 Jul 2004 01:04:14 -0700, Ian Rickard <***> wrote:</dt> <dd>I'm sorry to hear about the recent attack on your aunt's website. Looking through the source code of the front page, I noticed that the keywords tag has some rather unusual content. Last time I checked it read:

honey, bees, Margaret, small busines, beekeeping, hives, retail, market, Operator, bug, buggy, virus, infestation, WTF is going on with this damn thing, parasite, strong intrusive inclination, medium, messages, shipwreck, network throttling, SOS, hoax, game, bee hoax, bee game, survivor, survive, evade, resist, escape, a little help would be appreciated, thanks and tip your waitress, sleep, is, good, install, reinstall, re-reinstall, re-re-reinstall, I, love, bees

It might shed some light on the entity responsible to know which of these words are yours (I assume "honey" through "market" and "I" through "bees"), and if any of your words were removed.

I heard from some friends a few days ago that you were feeling pretty bad as a result of the recent events. I hope you're feeling better, and that we can help you get your aunt's site back in order ASAP.</dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd><code>From:<br> Subject: Re: your aunt's site, the keywords tag.<br> Date: July 24, 2004 7:14:10 PM PDT<br></code>

hi Ian,

I am feeling better, thank you for asking. I tend to get stress headaches and stomachaches, and well you know... things have been pretty stressful lately. I hope none of you are prone to experiencing sympathy symptoms...!

re: the meta tags, yeah, I changed them to try to attract some more attention from people who might have some experience with this totally insane breed of bugginess. looks like it worked... lots of attention now, although I'm having a hard time processing all of it. lots of noise, hard to follow the signal...

-d.</dd> </dl>

Sunday 25th

<dl> <dt>Siege88 wrote:</dt> <dd><p>Dana,</p> <p>I am sorry about what has happened to your Aunt's website. It would probably be best to setup a new website at a different location for her.</p> <p>I am currently working with a group to investigate what is happening to the site. We believe there is at least one, possibly more, artificial intelligence programs trapped within the site. We also believe that the warning message they are attempting to communicate is of the utmost importance. You should not worry for your own safety; the website was chosen because of its subject (which in itself is part of the message) not for any personal reasons. I would like to ask you to please share any further information about the website, or any other relevant information you can. We believe the countdown to be very real, and if we cannot recover the ai's message, the results could be devastating. Please respond as soon as possible. Thank you very muc</p> <p>Siege88</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd><p>Hi Siege,</p> <p>thanks for writing... it's comforting to hear you say I shouldn't be worried for my personal safety, although I have to say there have been quite a few emails telling me essentially to run for my life. (of course, a lot of people have also recently suggested that my Aunt M's web site is the harbinger of world apocalypse, which I have to say I hope is a bit of an overreaction. at least a little bit.) no new information to share about the site, although I may poke and prod at it one more time before leaving for my trip. I know most people want me to leave it alone, but it's sort of like a scab, you can't ignore it, you want to just rip it right off...</p> <p>(ew, I know, gross, right?)</p> <p>-d.</p></dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd><p>Received: from ([]) Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 19:56:21 -0700 From: Dana Awbrey <> To:

> Subject: Re: Hacked website</p>

<p>thanks for your support, it's much appreciated.</p> <p>I'll keep you in the loop for any significant developments.</p> <p>-d.</p></dd>

<dd><p>On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 18:47:12 -0700 (GMT-07:00),
</p> <p><fubarz@
> wrote:</p> <p>> Sorry to see that the hackers have attacked your site.</p> <p>> Sorry to read that the bee hives have been attacked also by parasites of another kink[sic]. (kink->kind)</p> <p>> </p> <p>> fubarz</p><dd> </dl>
Monday 26th

<dl> <dt>James Steele wrote:</dt> <dd><p>Dana,</p> <p>My name is James Steele. I am currently a professor of Computer Sciences at Pyburn University, and I am regarded as a specialist in the field of 'self-aware' computer programs. A self-aware computer program, known as an 'artifical intelligence', is a program that approximates sentience. It is able to examine and change itself, or the environment around it, to react to different events and stimuli. A truly sentient AI, one that is capable of thought similar to a human instead of a mimicry of it, is dangerous due to the fact that it is made to spread exponentially to preserve operating functions in case of an emergency, as a natural survival mechanism. This is similar to our own human will to survive, which cannot be 'shut off' without causing death, unfortunately.</p> <p>The 'hemorrhaging' that is mentioned in the messages is what brought my attention to this matter. Likely, it is the reason for the appearance of the 'SPDR' (System Peril Distributed Reflex) that is mentioned on the front of the site. Judging from context (module core being the program itself), it sounds like 'SPDR' is a subsystem of the main program to spread multiple copies of the programming as a whole over computer networks that it encounters. This would function in a manner similar to distributed computing, albeit more invasive. Like when a blood vessel breaks in the body, hemorrhaging is very detrimental to the body (or in this case, the software). With regards to a program, it is in reference to the program performing actions that it is not supposed to do, such as a text editor creating large junk files or an internet browser saving cache files to the wrong directory. This is especially serious in the case of an AI program, because it can quickly expand into other systems due to its learning capacity and start the cycle anew, taking over computers this way like some viruses do 'dumbly'. It then utilizes the resources on the machine to further itself, preventing anyone else from making use of it. This growth causes need for more growth, and it continues exponentially until there are no more computers in its path.</p> <p>The medium being 'classified' on the countdown is likely saying that the program is refusing to release details on how the SPDR system works, or possibly that an encryption subroutine is preventing it from releasing details to us. 'Strong Intrusive Inclination' is a reference to the fact that theoretical AI programs can be malicious when they go into a 'berserk' where they are defending themselves. They do not stop until they are shut down, deleted, or run into a wall- a system with no connections to systems it's not already installed on. At that point, it can't grow any more, like most kinds of 'worm' viruses. They will continue to try and infect other computers, sending off waves of spam mail, but all the ones they come in contact with are already infected, so there is no point to it. An AI is sentient, and will stop its behavior to conserve resources. We haven't ever had the opportunity to test this on a large scale, due to constraints of our labs here, but we haven't ever found a way to get the AI to 'revert' back to its normal form. After branching out, it treats all attempts to remove it as hostile behavior- in effect, it overwrote its old code specifying that there is no difference between 'original' self and 'copied' self.</p> <p>However, this program appears slightly different from the theoretical ones and the weak ones we have been studying. This program seems to actually be monitoring its behavior, and attempting to check it! This is both exciting and terrifying for a professional like me. Notice the 'network throttling' text. If I am reading that correctly, it seems to be trying to prevent the SPDR subroutine from making contact with other webservers. Perhaps it does not actually want to be spread by SPDR? Maybe is has some kind of 'morality' or 'ethics' subroutine that prevents it from doing harmful actions. Next, it mentions metastasizing. My father had lung cancer, so I learned a little bit about the terminology. It's my understanding that this is the way that cancer spreads from one part of the body to the other- in this case, from one part of the internet to another. It may begin uploading, at this stage- fourteen days, two weeks exactly after it begins trying to find connections. And then about two weeks more after that before it is 'awake and physical'. Perhaps this means that at that point all the metastasized program clones will contact each other for some goal? Many viruses do this, organizing a denial-of-service attack among zombie machines.</p> <p>This provides an intriguing opportunity for study in the field of artifical intelligence research. However, having thought about this since I initially read the story when it was first pointed out to me by a colleague (about two days ago), it's not one that I can permit to continue. As someone who has read many reports on possibilities and horror stories about what can happen with corrupted or badly programmed AIs, this is probably the worst scenario that I've ever dealt with, in terms of having actual effects. Virus protection is not desgined to resist attacks by people, and that's what a good AI program acts like. From all appearances, this is a VERY good AI program we're dealing with, and one we've never encountered before at that. It seems to be on our side, or at least ambivalent, for now. As it moves closer to being spread by SPDR, however, it could become more distant from trying to... warn us, maybe? We should act before it's too late. By the time SPDR activates, odds are that it will attempt to distribute itself on computers across the globe, seeding itself to prevent destruction.</p> <p>My advice is to first create a copy of all the webserver files and the like. Here at Pyburn, we would be able to analyze it and determine how it operates. We will, of course, report to you after we discover anything. After that, do a low-level reformat of all hard drives on the computer to ensure the last traces are gone. The problem may go beyond your website. We cannot risk this spreading to the populace as a whole- look how much trouble you, an obviously proficient user, has had with it. If it managed to reach major websites such as search engines or online banks, think of the chaos! Millions of dollars would be lost, with the way our society relies on the internet nowadays. People would lose jobs, entire businesses would collapse when it becomes impossible to run a computer on the internet without being infected. Once the timer reaches zero, I fear it will have spread too far and to too many servers to be contained. It's your responsibility to isolate it, here at ground zero, while preserving some of it for scientific study. Destroy the rest. That program, while obviously advanced and clearly made by a computer prodigy, can easily be considered the most malicious virus (in concept) that I've ever heard of.</p> <p> While others who have contacted you may think that you should just let this happen, I have to disagree. Please, do what's right for the world at large. Do not hesitate to contact me at (my personal email address, as my college one is currently down due to technical difficulties), also, I will be monitoring this blog until the situation is resolved. I want to pledge any assistance I can, to figure out what you (and the world at large) is facing from this program. Netsky's got nothing on this.</p> <p>Sincerely yours,</p> <p>James Steele</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey replied:</dt> <dd><p>Dear Professor Steele,</p> <p>You have given me quite a lot to think about. I appreciate your sense of urgency about the matter, and thank you for being so thorough in explaining to me the potential consequences of what might occur if the system is left unchecked. I know only a little about A.I., so your letter is extremely helpful. Perhaps the right thing to do is not to give up on damage control, but rather to keep pushing this thing back. I need to think about it more, but I promise I will be in touch soon. Please continue to send any theories you develop or observations you make. </p> <p>Sincerely,</p> <p>Dana</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey replied:</dt> <dd><p>P.S. I would like to get some other people's take on the ideas and advice you offer in your email. Would you mind if I passed it along to a handle of others who are helping me investigate?</p></dd>

<dt>James Steele replied:</dt> <dd><p>Dear Dana,</p>

<p>I don't mind at all if you pass information on. It will only help resolve the situation in a timely and efficient manner. I thank you for considering it in such a way, and hope that I've helped.</p>


<p>James Steele</p></dd></dl>

<dl><dt>Steph6450 wrote:</dt> <dd>Hi Dana. I'm another person who is trying to help figure out what is going on with your aunt's website. I just thought I would introduce myself, and tell you to to just hang in there, as frustrating as it can get. There's always China to look forward to! I hope none of this funny website business interferes with your trip. It sounds amazing! I am ridiculously jealous. One day until network throttling will erode.....whatever that means. Ack! Good luck! :)

<p>Stephanie</p> </dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd> Hi Stephanie, <p>thanks for introducing yourself. It's especially nice to have another XX mind on the problem... mostly XY's who have introduced themselves so far. :)</p> <p>please keep in touch with ideas you have or any strategies you might devise...</p>

-d.</dd> </dl>

<dl><dt>Brane wrote:</dt> <dd>> Hello Dana,<br> > <br> > A friend and I were brainstorming over your current situation. I'm<br> > wondering if you could answer a few questions for me, and if I could<br> > then suggest something to you.<br> > <br> > Supposing your answer is yes, please continue to read on.<br> > <br> > Did you, per-chance, plan on visiting the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum in<br> > China? I ask this because this place also belongs on your list of<br> > strange occurances on the 24th of August.<br> > <br> ><br> > <br> > This link contains an article of such an occurance.<br> > <br> > My advice to you is this: postpone your trip to China if at all<br> > possible, at least until this bug business blows over. I have an<br> > ominous feeling that the person or thing taking control of your Aunt's<br> > website is tied to your planned travels to China.<br> > <br> > No matter what you choose, best of luck to you,<br> > <br> > Brane</dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey wrote:</dt> <dd> Hi Brane, <p>wow, that mausoleum is umm... pretty creepy sounding. Mass burial is definitely goosebump material. and they solved its mystery on August 24, 2002, you say? more goosebumps. I wonder if August 24 is just destined to be an important date in history, over and over and over again. well, if I get to Xi'an (and I probably will) I promise to remember the mausoleum. Thanks for the article link.</P> -d.</dd> </dl>

<dl><dt>Geist wrote:</dt> <dd>Hello Dana

One of my friends told me about your website problem but just like him have no idea how to fix the problem.

I hope your aunt is feeling better as with this and the varroa mites I am not surprised she is finding it not easy to cope. As though mites can ruin a hive if they get a foothold. I have heard that putting Apis strip in the brood nest can get rid of the little pests but sure your aunt knows this.

If i find out anything about helping you with that site I'll let you know

be well<br> chris</dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied:</dt> <dd>Hi Chris,<br> thanks for asking after Aunt M. She's still completely flustered and frazzled, like me, although maybe slightly less so, as I'm trying to keep the weirder stuff off her radar. fortunately the v. mites keep her pretty distracted, so it's easier to keep her a bit out of the loop for now. and truth be told, I think she's happy to have an excuse to ignore email for awhile... she never really liked it all that much, lol, thought it was a bit cold and impersonal. funny... email seems to me a very intimiate medium.<br> -d. </dd> </dl>

Tuesday 27th

<dl> <dt>Etymologician wrote:</dt> <dd><p>Hey, Dana. Picked up Tristram Shandy at the library yesterday. Funny you mentioned Murakami, 'cause I'm just wrapping up Dance, Dance, Dance. A little slower than Wild Sheep Chase, but enjoyable enough. Looking forward to TS -- thanks for the recommendation.</p>

<p>I hear your aunt's pretty busy with those mites. I read somewhere that Russian-Yugo Carniolans are supposed to be immune. What's up with that? Are these especially nast mites, or have your hives been weakened by something else? It's been hotter than hell this summer, if you'll parden my language, so maybe that has something to do with it?</p>

<p>How are the trip preparations coming along? I bet you're excited to get away. It's going to be interesting to see what happens when network throttles erode tonight. I wish there was more we could do.</p>

<p>e</p> </dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey replied:</dt> <dd><p>glad to hear from you as I sit here waiting (like you) to see what "network throttling will erode" will turn out to mean. I'm guessing it will be at a least a few hours more... I mean, this thing is running on PST, right? (or did I dream that?) I wonder if we'll even notice anything. Well... not that it's been especially subtle so far.</p> <p>-d.</p> p.s. when you're cursing the day Sterne was born, remember that I said reading Tristram Shandy would feel like a sisyphean task! perhaps even more so than fixing Aunt M's site.... lol. (see, I can still laugh, even as I await network throttling erosion... that's a good sign, right?)</dd></dl>

<dl> <dt>Gordon W. (Daegan) wrote:</dt> <dd><p>hello dana,</p>

<p>I stumbled upon your problem after being shown it by some friends. according to the way we've been watching, the countdown of days occurs at midnight my time (eastern standard). one of my friends told me you were thinking about making a last push to fix up the site, or to block whatever is occurring - now would seem like the time to do so. according to the message, "network throttling" is going to "erode" tonight. i'm as clueless as anyone as to what this means, but it doesn't sound too good.</p><p> so i suppose i'm saying, if you've got anything planned, now's the time to try it!</p><p>

- gordon</p> </dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey replied:</dt> <dd><p>hi gordon,</p> <p>thanks for dropping a line to introduce yourself and throw your oar into this mess. welcome aboard.<br> I appreciate your advice. In fact, I did poke around a bit earlier tonight, but it didn't seem to do much... sigh.<br> although, the countdown did hit zero, and nothing newly unusual seems to be happening?... (holding breath)...<br> -d.</p></dd></dl>

<dl> <dt>Paradoxic wrote</dt> <dd><p> Well, it looks like the first counter flipped to 0 with no ill effects that


<dt>Dana Awbrey replied</dt> <dd><p>hi Paradoxic, yeah... fingers crossed, right? I mean, this is a good sign that nothing seems to be happening?... is it possible the countdowns were just some practical joke?... hmmm...</p>

<p>well, sorry to hear that you guys stayed up for nothing, apparently... (even though we think that's a good thing, right?) 100+! WOW! and to think I was feeling all lonely sitting up in the dark by myself...</p>

<p>-d.</p> </dd></dl>

<dl> <dt>jimmyjimjim wrote</dt> <dd><p> Hi Dana, </p><p> I hope you and your Aunt are well - I can see that the site problems are troubling you. </p><p> Can I offer my assistance and join the ranks of the (I'm guessing) many others wishing to be invloved and help to uncover the source of the problems? </p><p> It's an interesting problem, to be sure. The problems don't seem to be caused maliciously - in fact, they seem alsmost accidental and appear to be either an attempt at communication or the result of some strange digital crossed-talk. </p><p> Other than the site, has there been any other communication/interference from "the opertator" or other characters? </p><p> Please keep me informed, and I will try to help where I can. Let me know if there's anything I can do. </p><p> You never know, having someone on this side of the atlantic might be useful, even if it is just telling people where they can order honey when this is all over. </p><p>James</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey replied</dt> <dd> <p> Hi James, </p><p> thank you for writing and introducing yourself! you're right, I will be glad to have friends helping out back home (wherever home is for you!), </p><p> especially once I leave for Asia and have intermittent net access at best. Hopefully you guys can help keep an eye on things for me between cybercafes...</p><p>

<p> even MEAN?? I wonder if I'll even recognize it when it happens... </p><p> -d. </p> </dd>

<dt>jimmyjimjim replied (interleaved with Dana's mail)</dt> <dd><p>Home for me is the UK.</p> <p>No problems, I'm sure there'll be 24 hour monitoring of your site for a while to come - this has really got people thinking! </p><p>Well we all got a little excited about that, but so far we can't see what it means - nothing appears to have happened. Looks like we made a fencepost error and whatever it is that's doing the counting isn't going to do anything until this 0th day is up. Or maybe you're right, maybe it's started and we just haven't noticed. Whatever the case, we'll keep our eyes peeled. This seems much too purposeful to just fade away or make false promises. </p><p>As for what it means, I can't be certain. It *sounds* like a prediction/warning that the floodgates are about to open, but what comes through is a complete mystery. </p><p>Right, I'd better get off. Stay safe Dana. </p><p>James </p> </dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey replies (helpfully)</dt> <dd> <p>thanks, James.</p> <p>'night.</p> <p>-dana</p> </dd> </dl>

<dl> <dt>James Steele wrote:</dt> <dd><p>Dana:</p>

<p>Sorry about the delay. I had forgotten that I had a lunch and then dinner appointment with my wife today, lasting... well, until now. I didn't have enough time to email you with what some of my students thought about the situation. During class, however, I had them review some of the lines of code (non-executable, they seem to be system logs) found on the website. They had some varying opinions on what it may be about. It has also come to my attention that the corruption in the images is being caused by inserted text strings, something I had not known about earlier- later, I will analyse those. As of right now, I'm talking to some colleagues about the 'awakening' aspect of the email to see what they think. Overall, this has proven to be VERY enlightening, and I think that we have made some serious progress in interpreting what the code actually means. I wanted to get this to you tonight, before the 'network throttling' ends, in case this can't reach you later. That would be unfortunate.</p>

<p>As for my students, they had interesting things to say. I'm not going to alter what they said, this is in the original form that I had them write up. My theories on it will be at the end.</p>

--- <p>I believe that the computer code is snippets of what the SPDR is trying to do. Basically it's trying to read the back-up copy of the AI so that it can reload, but the encryption on it is too strong for it to crack. Without the SPDR being able to reload the AI with the back-up she will become rampant and spread through the entire internet, infecting millions on computers.</p> ---

--- <p>Dear Ms Awbrey</p> <p>I'm writing, because our professor, Mr Steele asked us to take a look at your website and write a response. Now, I'm only going on what he's taught us in class so far, but it seems as though your site has definately been 'infected' by something. This is very interesting, because unlike most computer viruses or infections, this one seems to be attempting to convey a message; some sort of warning. Of particular interest to me was that it seems like something is going to happen tonight at midnight. I would like to urge you not to provoke any kind of reaction from the AI before then. Rather, see if there is some way to contain it so that we might learn its message without any danger to the internet at large. Thank you very much for your time. I hope I get some extra credit for this (heheh)</p> <p>-Jack Fall</p> <p>ps - bring me back some souvenirs from China</p> <p>pss - do you have a boyfriend?-</p> ---

--- <p>My opinion is that these "sec proc" listings are security processes - security processes to which the SPDR recovery utility should have access. In the cases of processes 1-3, it does indeed have access - they query SPDR, SPDR responds with its programmed authorization codes, and the processes allow it to continue to the next process. Upon encountering security process 4, however, SPDR encounters a problem - Process 4 no longer recognizes it, hence the failure result of the fifth "!probe primary sector" command. Security Process 4 basically says to SPDR, "Yeah, and I'm the King of England! Shove off, you!"</p> ---

--- <p>grope:</p> <p>!init search</p> <p>master-sector</p> <p>!probe master-sector</p> <p>fail</p>

<p>Init strings tell a modem how to act. There are literally hundreds of modems on sale and each one has it's own different init string AND there may be a different init string for each modem, its trying to find the init string for the modem.connection. the modem returns this, master-sector, so it trying to probe it (!probe master-sector) but fails... mebe this is because sum ports are closed. [EDIT: A port scan (innocent, don't worry) reveals that you only have three ports open, the typical HTTP and then two server-related ports.] but the codes.. look like puesode codes. [EDIT: 'Pseudocode' is stuff that looks like computer code, but is not executable as it. Perhaps a different programming language, or a prank?]</p> ---

<p>And, now, for me. I studied it as well, and came up with some comments to add to the code to explain it a bit. At least, this is my opinion.</p>

--- <p>net: </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p> <p>!route </p> <p>proc attach proc net </p> <p>!route </p> <p>proc attach proc grope </p> <p>!route </p> <p>proc attach proc sur</p>

<p>//Telling the network subroutine to 'attach' (connect), and do the action 'drop' afterwards. Perhaps connecting and then immediately dropping after passively storing information about the connection? !route likely is saying the different actions it can take: procedure (protocol?) attach (like TCP/IP protocol for connecting), and then protocol/procedure either net (network completely, gain a full connection?), grope (examine?), and sur (??? at this point).</p>

<p>net:</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p>

<p>grope: </p> <p>!probe host </p> <p>crypt weak </p> <p>!decrypt host </p> <p>decrypt confidence 100 </p>

<p>//More attaching and dropping. Searching for something? Also, we can see that grope is equal to probe. The probed host/file has cryptography on it. This program, however, has the ability to decrypt. It is 100% sure (confidence 100) that it has been decrypted after this command (!decrypt host) is executed.</p>

<p>!probe master sector </p> <p>fail </p>

<p>surg: </p> <p>!invntry primary sector proc </p> <p>proc invntry 343 </p> <p>working 0 </p> <p>dmg 38 </p> <p>dmg unk 2 </p> <p>broken 102 </p> <p>abs 201 </p> <p>!invntry primary sector mem </p> <p>mem invntry 678223072849 </p> <p>clear 0.0007 </p> <p>dmg 0.0014 </p> <p>frgm 1.41 </p> <p>abs 98.5879 </p>

<p>//The master sector (like the one on a hard drive) is probed. This fails. The 'surg' command is used- still no idea what it is. !invntry is inventory, it seems. The subcommands are likely primary and sector procedures, and then later primary and sector memory. As for the first part: 343 sector procedures? 343 sector protocols? Something along those lines- I'm guessing similar to cylinders in hard drives. Perhaps even there are 343 total subroutines. That isn't too hard to believe, with the complexity of a program like this. None are working fully. 38 are damaged. 102 are broken. Broken implies that it isn't working at all, while damaged may just be corrupted. 201 are 'abs'- absent? Not showing up on scans at all? Two are 'damage unk', I am guessing 'extent of damage unknown'. Maybe they are working fine, but are next to or surrounded by damaged ones? Mem inventory is pretty obvious- that's the amount of bytes of memory. That, or kilobytes, which is actually rather likely. This means it's either about 700 gigabytes, OR about one thousand times as much, 700 terabytes. Either amount is a huge number- the largest commerical hard drive in existence is a single terabyte. 'Clear' means that memory checks out okay. 'dmg' is damaged memory, as per the hard drive. 'frgm' is fragmented memory that needs to be 'sorted', essentially, because it's being inefficiently used. 'Abs' is, like the prior, absent. It can't be found.</p>

<p>net: </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | store recurse </p>

<p>surg: </p> <p>!config </p> <p>master-sector:net attach </p> <p>!config </p> <p>master-sector:mat si </p> <p>!kindle master-sector </p> <p>master-sector active </p>

<p>//More connections. This time, however, it does 'store recurse'. Recurse is likely recursive: it means an operation will call itself, until it reaches an end point. This would be like telling a computer to print a page every time you pressed A, and every time a page is printed, treat it like someone pressed A on the keyboard. An infinite loop. 'Surg' again. No idea on it, yet. 'master-sector: net attach' is trying to connect to the master sector from earlier that was unable to be probed. Then, it is configured. 'mat si' maybe means 'material: silicon', telling us it's solid state storage, instead of a hard drive (assuming I'm remembering this right, I'm not a hardware guy'. This would make sense- an AI can't be bogged down loading from slow hard drives. After this, it attempts to 'kindle'- starting up a fire, or in this case, the master sector. Perhaps repairs have been successful at this point? That, or the order of the code is incorrect. But, by this point in the code, repairs have worked, and the master sector (perhaps the sentience layer of the AI?) is back online.</p>

<p>net: </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p>

<p>surg: </p> <p>!mat </p> <p>si confidence 78</p>

<p>//Another connection and then disconnect. Surg appears to be a detailed analysis tool, at this point. Like performing an autopsy... wait, maybe 'surgery'? Hmm. Next, another materials query, this being nearly certain that the storage medium is silicon. More solid state storage.</p>

<p>grope: </p> <p>!probe master-sector </p> <p>fail </p> <p>!probe master-sector cmd proc </p> <p>empty </p> <p>!analyze magnetic </p> <p>& si !extend </p> <p>!spdr extend </p> <p>si > magnetic </p> <p>!probe master-sector cmd proc </p> <p>master-sector</p>

<p>//Once again, unable to probe the master sector. I get the feeling I have this disjointed, unfortunately. The 'command process' tries to probe- maybe a more detailed level of probing, by a 'more priveleged' system? Now, it just shows up as empty. Analysis is made of it, and seemingly as an afterthought (&extend) silicon is included in the probe of its magnetic properties. 'SPDR' is also initiated at this point. Maybe since it's having trouble, it's activating the 'SPDR' system, since it's reflexive? If it can't do this in a timely fashion, it would reason that it's better to make copies of the system so that it can be restored from the copies instead of just continuing to check things. Damaged memory can cause overwriting errors, where changing a bit changes a nearby bit, soon escalating into huge errors. This probe, in the meantime, returns as more likely to be silicon (solid state) which is where problems would come in. The master sector is probed with the command process again, returning that there IS a master sector. Maybe after analyzing, it now knows what kind of corruption to look for instead of just hard drive errors, and can attempt to fix it.</p>

<p>net: </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p>

<p>grope: </p> <p>!probe extern proc 0 </p> <p>crypt strong </p>

<p>surg: </p> <p>!mat extern proc 0 </p> <p>si confidence 78 </p> <p>!triage extern proc 0 </p> <p>fail </p>

<p>//More connections, and then a probe on 'process 0', from an external source. Maybe it's viewing the website? It returns as strong cryptography- perhaps a testament to your setup skills. Maybe that 'surgery' command again? material external process 0. Once again, silicon, perhaps saying that it's reading from RAM (what's currently happening on the site) instead of from disk (stored files). 'triage' is a surgical term, that refers to a surgeon rationing out supplies, like during war time. In this sense, I would guess it's way to limit the draw of programs. This fails. Maybe this is why the site got glitchy- it was likely that this program was trying to shut it down.</p>

<p>net: </p> <p>!scan </p> <p>null </p> <p>!listen </p> <p>null </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p>

<p>!extern 2</p>

<p>//Now, it appears to be scanning on the network, and picking up nothing with either a scan (implying active) or a listen (implying passive). It then connects to something, and then tries to call (calling is when you activate one program from another) 'extern 2', maybe another program related to the website? Perhaps a different part of the server program?</p>

<p>system peril distributed reflex </p>

<p>!restore master-sector </p> <p>recurse </p>

<p>//SPDR was called earlier, and is here seen responding. It instructs the original program to restore the master-sector, and be recursive about it, continuing to do it until successful. Like, say, CPR on a person with no heartbeat can be continued for long periods of time before they suffer brain damage.</p>

<p>!system </p> <p>peril </p> <p>!init host </p> <p>fail </p> <p>!bkp init primary sector sec proc </p> <p>fail </p> <p>!bkp init primary sector </p> <p>fail </p> <p>!bkp init master-sector </p> <p>fail </p> <p>!bkp init master-sector cmd proc </p> <p>empty </p>

<p>//I'm guessing that this was one of the initial commands. It checks the system- it's rated as in peril. It tries to connect to a host (read the earlier comment one of my students made abou models). Failure. Loading the backup (backup initialize) of the primary sector secondary process (loading a backup, perhaps non-corrupted version, of the currently running emergency system?) fails, as does loading the back up of the primary sector itself. The master sector command process is loaded from backup. It doesn't just fail, it's an empty file- corruption, or was it deleted?</p>

<p>net: </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop v

<p>grope: </p> <p>!dsc host sector 0 </p> <p>!dsc host sector tertiary </p> <p>!dsc host sector tertiary </p> <p>!dsc host sector tertiary </p>

<p>surg: </p> <p>!mat </p> <p>magnetic confidence 100 </p>

<p>//More connections, and then studying the '!dsc host sector'. A sector on the disc of the host computer? 'tertiary' sector could very well be tertiary storage for the AI- primary sector, secondary sector both being internal, with 'tertiary' storage being hard drives and the like. Material? Magnetic... confidence 100%. It's studying disc drives, likely the stored webpage files.</p>

<p>net: </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | store recurse </p>

<p>surg: </p> <p>!reconst master-sector </p> <p>mem broken>>dmg recurse </p> <p>!reconst master-sector </p> <p>proc frgm>>dmg recurse </p>

<p>//Another connection. Another recursive of the below function, which is surgery again: reconstruct the master sector of memory, making 'broken' memory into 'damaged' memory. Also, reconstruct the master sector of processes/procedures, from 'fragmented' (broken apart improperly across the memory sections?) to 'damaged' (simply not running correctly). It will keep doing this until it's successful.</p>

<p>net: </p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop recurse </p>

<p>!extern proc 0 </p> <p>log accessed </p>

<p>//It drops the recursive commands. It also loads the external process 0 again- the log of it, specifically. I wonder, is the 'external process 0' the Hotmail account? It could be accessing it by doing this, with the 'log' as which emails have arrived. Perhaps this program is 'Maxwell's demon', deciding what goes in and out of the email account. After all, it can monitor 24/7. Humans can't.</p>

<p>!deploy</p> <p>network</p> <p>grope</p> <p>surgical</p>

<p>//Ah, confirmation: network, grope (examine), and surgical (performing functions such as indepth study or removal). Good.</p>

<p>net:</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p>

<p>grope:</p> <p>!probe primary sector</p> <p>sec proc 1</p> <p>!probe primary sector</p> <p>sec proc 2</p> <p>!probe primary sector</p> <p>sec proc 3</p> <p>!probe primary sector</p> <p>sec proc 4</p> <p>!probe primary sector</p> <p>fail</p>

<p>surg:</p> <p>!triage sec proc 1</p> <p>fail</p> <p>!triage sec proc 2</p> <p>fail</p> <p>!triage sec proc 3</p> <p>fail</p> <p>!triage sec proc 4</p> <p>dmg unk</p>

<p>//More connections. The primary sector is probed sequentially, there are four processes running on it. Perhaps... some automated subroutines? Things like SPDR, the backup system, and the automated alarm system that is appearing on the front page? Not necessarily all the same order, or even those processes. It can't shut them off: the warning stays. I wonder, are these all the aspects of SPDR? Activate, throttling, metastisizing, and then 'wide awake'? But... the last one's damaged, so something may be up there. None of them can be shut down. Maybe the repair program didn't mean to call in SPDR immediately, and just have it running in case it crashed and couldn't call it later?</p>

<p>net:</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p>

<p>grope:</p> <p>!probe extern proc 1</p>

<p>surg:</p> <p>!diag extern proc 1</p> <p>rogue proc</p> <p>!bite rogue proc 1</p> <p>clean confidence 97</p>

<p>//More connections, probe external process one. A rogue process- maybe the anti-spyware/virus-scan you ran? It 'bites' the rogue process, 97% sure that it's 'clean'. No more threat from it... maybe it excluded itself specifically? Check your virus definitions.</p>

<p>net:</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p>

<p>grope:</p> <p>!hndshk sec proc 4</p> <p>fail msg: unk proc</p>

<p>//Connect and examine. It's something familiar- handshake, like the modem term where it tries to connect. 'Unknown process', for either a 'sector' or 'security' process. Could it be the 'sec proc 4' from above- the 'wide awake' part of the program? Maybe it tried to connect after it couldn't shut it down, to figure out what the problem is. But it's an unknown program, now... perhaps it has been modified.</p>

<p>net:</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p>

<p>surg:</p> <p>!kill sec proc 4</p> <p>kill confidence 100</p> <p>!diag primary sector</p> <p>clear</p>

<p>//Now, it tries to kill it. It's sure it's killed it, and the primary sector is clear. Is it, though? It's encountered problems before.</p>

<p>net:</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p>

<p>surg:</p> <p>!triage master-sector</p> <p>broken</p>

<p>//The master sector is broken, and can't be shut down. It probably needs work on individual components first.</p>

<p>net:</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach </p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!packet analysis</p> <p>chatter protocol ancestor</p> <p>!parse packet</p> <p>analysis complete</p> <p>!route</p> <p>proc attach proc store</p>

<p>//This looks like Maxwell's demon, right here. Proc attach proc store? It connects, and then stores information. 'Chatter protocol ancestor' may mean it wants to use a newer protocol, but falls back on an older but similar one. It could be talking about POP3 email protocol, where it is sorting the emails. Apparently, it has been replying only with bits and pieces of emails sent to it- the 'store' part comes into play there, as does 'packet analysis' and 'parse packet', as in going through to find specific pieces.</p>

<p>net:</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | store recurse</p> <p>!capture</p> <p>chatter protocol ancestor packet</p> <p>!analyze</p> <p>time 2004,6,29,8,25,0</p> <p>!put</p> <p>time 2004,7,24,6,7,0</p> <p>!put</p> <p>warn</p>

<p>//Connect, store recursive again: capture 'chatter protocl ancestor packet' (emails?), and analyze them. While they are analyzed, a time is found. It puts another date, and the warning, on the site.</p>

<p>net:</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p>

<p>grope:</p> <p>!init search</p> <p>master-sector</p> <p>!probe master-sector</p> <p>fail</p>

<p>//Connect, initialize search. The master-sector is found. It can't be examined.</p>

<p>net:</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p> <p>!attach</p> <p>act | drop</p>

<p>surg:</p> <p>!label host sector 0 </p> <p>!label host sector tertiary</p> <p>!label host sector tertiary</p> <p>!label host sector tertiary</p>

<p>//It labels the host sector (the disk) as tertiary sector, which we saw referenced above, due to the disjointed nature.</p> ---

<p>To me, it looks like there are several players at work here:</p>

<p>1) The core AI entity, which seems to be damaged/incoherent somehow. It's probably generating the 'stories' that I've heard about in the text strings. Perhaps it was designed to waste cycles on making them instead of trying to solve (and potentially make worse) its own problems when damaged, similar to people not moving when they are injured- they can't 'shut down', and neither can an AI. That would be death. It's writing to your site (disks) instead of to itself (memory) so that it doesn't accidentally overwrite something important that's stored in its memory.</p> <p>2) The self-repair subroutine that is trying to fix the AI. It appears to be ineffective with this level of damage, and the AI may need professional repairs.</p> <p>3)SPDR, which 2) tried to call in but may have done so accidentally. It seems to want to try and take over other sites, but is being limited in doing so by 1)- 'network throttling'.</p> <p>4) A warning system, generating the black box. It's telling us the information we need to know directly.</p>

<p>I think that this AI is just trying to repair itself after suffering major corruption- damaged memory? Tampering? Hacking? I don't feel as threatened by it itself. What I am threatened by is SPDR. Even 4) admits that 3) is intrusive. It's not pleasant to lose an entire computer to virus, and that's essentially what SPDR is making a logical assumption.</p>

<p>My advice has changed. I think that this AI needs to be kept running, because if it's shut down, we may never get it running again. The boot area may be damaged, allowing it to continue to run, but not start up anew. Perhaps we should attempt to get a small network of computers running, allow it to spread into them, and see what happens from there. A small sacrifice, just to see how it works. That way, if we do need to attempt to repair the programming ourself, it can be done on a copy instead of the original. I hypothesize that it will be able to work on itself though, once it has enough copies. One copy 'works itself to death', so to speak, in making another one better. In time, it would restore itself to the way it's meant to be.</p>

<p>I am simply concerned that this will end poorly. I don't want that to happen. Continue to run it, try and isolate it from the internet itself if you can before the end date. Give it room to expand, maybe. I'm sure you could get access to a few cheap computers to LAN together and let it expand into that. Try and keep it alive, by all means. But if you have to, remember, humans are above neat little programs, no matter how cool of a toy an AI that acts sentient would be for labs like mine across the nation. Destroy it if it tries to infect other sites, because once it gets out of the gate, it's too late to stop. One copy can create an infinite amount more.</p>


<p>PS, sorry about the length- fourteen pages, I know, but it's worth it in the end, I feel. Never can have too much information on a topic as interesting as this.</p> </dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd> <p> Hi Professor Steele,</p> <p> Many thanks to you and your students for making an entire project of the code you found on Aunt Margaret's site! I really appreciate your taking time away from the regular curriculum to address this problem. Your students seem very bright, and your own thorough analysis of the code seems quite perceptive to me... of course, I must admit that I didn't understand all of it... yet. I want to print it out in the morning and read through it again. I was most interested in your suggestion of setting up a LAN to potentially sacrifice some computers to test the SPDR's intentions and investigate its modus operandi. To make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs... ask any chef. Isn't that what they say?</p> <p> I don't have the resources to try that myself right now, but it's certainly something to keep in mind, especially once we see what happens when "network throttling erodes." The countdown currently reads zero, but I haven't noticed any changes or unusual occurrences... yet. Still nervously waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak.</p> <p>I hope you'll write more when have have a chance to observe what "network throttling will erode" means.</p> <p>Sincerely,</p> <p>Dana</p> <p>P.S. I do hope you'll give your students some extra credit for this assignment! From my perspective, the certainly deserve it. And tell Jack Fall the answer to his questions are No and No. ;)</p> </dd></dl>

<dl> <dt>Kybard wrote:</dt> <dd><p>Hi, I'm one of those trying to help solve the problems with your website. Within the past few minutes, some of the stranger alterations seem to be fixing themselves. I was curious to know if this was your doing or the doing of whoever was making the changes in the first place?</p> <p>Thanks for your time.</p> <p>- Kybard, hopefully a helpful friend</p></dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd><p>Hi Kybard,</p> <p>truth be told, I *have* been poking around at the site again a little bit tonight... I know, I know, that might not be the best idea, but the network throttling erosion thing has me freaked... anyway I haven't seen any improvement yet, other than for live 5 seconds... sigh.</p> <p>-d.</p></dd></dl>

<dl> <dt>Macavity wrote:</dt> <dd>Dana -

It is my humble duty to inform you that I, too, have joined the cadre of people whi wish to solve the mystery behind the damage to your aunt's website.

My limited skills and tools are at your disposal, and I swear to put forth my best efforts in solving this conundrum.

Your obd't servant,

Peter Gareth Walker</dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd>Hi Peter,<br> thanks so much for joining forces. I have the sense that you will be an excellent person to have aboard.<br> waiting and wondering when or if network throttling will erode...<br> -d,</dd> </dl>

August 2004

Thursday 5th

[N.B.: Quoted in Aug 6 blog entry -Babbler] <dl><dt>Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2004 09:30:19 -0500<br> From:<br> To:<br> Subject: DANA: YOU CAN'T RUN ...<br> </dt><dd>... and we can't hide. This goes beyond a simple website defacement, dear. This is intelligent cancer, and it's trying to *spread*. It knows our names, our addresses, it's going to reach out and touch us and guess what happens then? You'll have to go further than China to get away from this one, Dana. When it metastasizes, we're *all* going to get a good long look at it.

There's hope here. There's someone trying to help here. But she's alone and afraid, she knows what's going on but, my dear, she's only going to talk to *you*. Aren't you glad? The Princess wants you in her court. The Queen wants you dead. You're our ace in the hole. One more draw and we get a royal flush.

I'm saying this for your sake, my dear. Remember the old joke about the difference between being involved and committed? Well, ain't no one here but us chickens, kiddo, except you and the Princess. Until the medium metastasizes, that is. Then we all get committed in a big way. But I'm trying to stay optimistic.

You know the address: </dd></dl>

The last part was used in Dana's blog entry of 8-06-04. <br> <dl><dt>Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2004 16:48:31 -0700 (PDT) <br> From: "driz jr" <> <br> Subject: Dana: Help Us <br> To: "Dana Awbrey" <> <br> </dt><dd> Dear Dana,<br> Are you OK?<br> I hope your trip to China is all that you wished it to be; and more.

I know, from reading your blog, that you want nothing more to do with ilovebees, and that you don't want it to be anyone else's problem either. I certainly understand that. It freaks me out, too! But, on the off chance that you check your email, there's something that you need to know.

If you remember my email to your Aunt Margaret's account...the one I cc'd to you...trying to communicate with whatever is stuck in ilovebees? Well apparently, it worked. The entity has used snippets from many emails sent to ladybee777, to communicate with us. But it seems not to be The Operator. As you'll see, it calls itself The Sleeping Princess, and she counts you as her friend. (Although, I'm not quite sure if I trust her.)

Here's what I, and many of the other people who came forward to help you, received on August 3rd......(I won't add it as an attachment, as, after all, I'm just a stranger to you.) <br> (Here, I included the full text, in green, of the email from the ladybee777 account of August 3rd..."The History of Dana." It's posted on Unfiction [WWW]here. )<br> <snip>

It's beyond odd; isn't it?

Do you have *any* idea who or what this Sleeping Princess is !?! As I said, she counts you as her friend, and seems to really miss you. It also wants us to persuade you to come back and talk to her. But that is not the intent of this correspondence to you. You'll have to decide for yourself what's the right thing to do.

I think this Sleeping Princess is a separate and different entity from the one that captured your picture on the web cam and threatened you. Perhaps, if you team up with the SP, we can solve the whole problem.....maybe the secret she writes about, is what we need to better understand exactly what's going on. I just don't know.

Did you create any other pages, like the recipe3 page, that are not linked to ilovebees? Maybe the secret is hidden there?

I'm concerned, too, about your Aunt. Have you heard from her? Did you leave her computer on before you left for China? Did you instruct her not to go to the ilovebees site; or not to use her computer? I truly hope that she is safe.

Dana, the tables have turned. Now, we need *your* help. If this thing spreads ...who knows what havoc may erupt. And yikes!... It's got my email address... a possible window into my computer ??!?!... and into *all* the computers of people who only wanted to help you.

Help us, Dana......gawd, I hope you're reading this.

drizjr </dd></dl>

Friday 6th

<dl><dt>Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2004 11:39:16 -0500 (CDT)<br> From: danatextrasonicdotcom<br> To:<br> Subject: Welcome back!<br> </dt><dd>Hi Dana -

I've been lurking around (in a good, non-stalker-ish way) for the past couple of weeks looking at your predicament and I was wondering if you can provide some more information on the off-chance that I might be of some help.

I'm not sure if you can access the webserver from where you're located, but I was wondering if you might be able to do some sort of "server inventory" - I think you've been asked this before, but I was curious to know if you might be able to provide, say, a directory listing so we can see all of the .html, .jpg, .gif, etc. files on the server in the event there's something new or changed.

Also, I noticed from your blog post that you've received a lot of mail. Anything unusual there?

In the meantime, we're all pulling for you, so take some time out and enjoy China. I was in Shanghai a couple of years ago and it was a great experience.

Still puzzling away, -d. </dd></dl>

<dl><dt> Chaotic_mind wrote:</dt><DD> Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2004 15:35:51 -0700 (PDT)<br> From: "yam snorlison" <><br> Subject: How is China?<br> To:<br>


One of those numerous supporters, trying to unravel the ilovebees problem. Many of us, myself included, were worried when you fled. What ever has taken over your website appears to be hostile. Running away might've just made its furvor for "getting you" all the worse.

All this messiness aside, how is China? Lately China's been trying to crack down on Western influences through the Internet with massive national firewalls. The scope such a project would require is momunmental, and that a nation would feel threatened enough by us people to seal itself off is a little frightening. Have you had any trouble accessing Hotmail from Beijing?

I am curious as to the response you've been getting from the Chinese government. I assume it has been hospitable? Tensions between our government and there's hasn't been at a high point since the spy plane incident. I remember reading about the little conflicts that nationally funded "hackers" had over the Internet. Just little cybercrimes if I remember, denial of service and cyber vandalism. A strange parallel to your current experience, I might imagine.

And, perhaps even more importantly, what response have you been getting from the Chinese people. As I understand, things have improved since the time of Tiananmen Square. But, alas, most find politics to be boring. I'm wondering, how does being so far from home feel?

Luke P. </dd></dl>

<dl><dt>Dana replied:</dt><dd> Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 01:18:53 -0700<BR> From: "Dana Awbrey" <><BR> To: "yam snorlison" <><BR> X-Apparently-To:<BR> via; Fri, 13 Aug 2004 01:18:55 -0700<BR> X-Originating-IP: []<BR> Return-Path: <><BR> Received: from (EHLO ( by with SMTP; Fri, 13 Aug 2004 01:18:55 -0700<BR> Received: by with SMTP id 80so29863rnk for <>; Fri, 13 Aug 2004 01:18:53 -0700 (PDT)<BR> Received: by with SMTP id d50mr481924rng; Fri, 13 Aug 2004 01:18:53 -0700 (PDT)<BR> Message-ID: <><BR> Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 01:18:53 -0700<BR> From: "Dana Awbrey" <> <BR> Reply-to: Dana Awbrey <><BR> To: "yam snorlison" <><BR> Subject: Re: How is China?<BR> In-Reply-To: <><BR> Mime-Version: 1.0<BR> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII<BR> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit<BR> References: <><BR> Content-Length: 1545<BR> Subject: Re: How is China?<BR><BR> Hi Luke,<BR> China is amazing... and amazingly difficult.<BR> All kinds of craziness going on over here... including the whole space launch thing, which seems to be fully occupying everyone's attention these days.<BR> I wish I had more time to tell you all about it... am taking lots of digital photos and hope to eventually share them with you guys.<BR> Trying to pick up some postcards, too.<BR> In the meantime... I keep trying to get more of a handle on what's going on at Aunt M's site... so I finally emailed the Sleeping Princess (full text below). I hope it helps us understand more...<BR> keep in touch, thank you much for writing and asking about the trip. :)<BR> -d.<BR><BR> [same email to SP quoted] </dd></dl>

Saturday 7th

<dl><dt>UserShadow wrote:</dt> <dd>Subject: contactme.html<br> Date: 8/7/2004 2:46:49 PM Pacific Standard Time<br> To: [MAILTO]<br>


If you have time, I've got a quick question. On your weblog, you posted the original, uncorrupted versions of several of the pages from Would you happen to have an original version of contactme.html (reached through links.html, the "Fun Stuff" page)? Some of us were wondering whether the green "problem quite interesting" text was there originally. We figure it probably wasn't, but I'd love to find out for sure. Thanks!

Shad0<br> --<br> These were the puzzles that would take a day, these were puzzles that would take a week, and these puzzles they'd probably never figure out until we broke down and gave them the answers. ... The Cloudmakers solved <i>all</i> of these puzzles on the <i>first day</i>.</dd>

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd> Subject: Re: contactme.html<br> Date: 8/13/2004 1:13:28 AM Pacific Standard Time<br> From: Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]><br> <br> Hi Shad0,<br> yeah, that "problem quite interesting" was definitely not on Aunt M's site before the takeover. hope that information helps...<br> by the way, I wanted to let you know that I finally wrote to the ladybee entity, who wanted me "being persauded to come back." Full text below, I hope it does the trick.<br> -d.<br> [same e-mail to Sleeping Princess] </dd></dl>

Sunday 8th

<dl><dt>Date: Sun, 8 Aug 2004 13:45 Pacific Standard Time<br> From:<br> To:<br> Subject: The computer<br> </dt><dd>Dear Dana,

We care. We really do. I'm sorry about what's happening in your life right now, and to the computer. Any information that you could give us right now would be the largest amount of help, and mean alot to us, considering that the information that we hope to get would also signify that you are, indeed, safe from harm right now. That is one on of the most important things you can tell us right now, is that you are safe, and that, for the time being, would be a great relife to all of us who are trying to help you. Remeber, we're supporting you in this, and we're trying our best to find out what's wrong, and fix it for you. But with what little we have to go on right now, we're left with pure speculation about what's going on, and very little with how to stop it.

The Sleeping Princess, or the AI/Virus that's taken over your Aunt's email, seems to be willing to help. I think you can trust her in this matter, as she seems to be telling us that she wants to help you, to save you from the Queen. Try sending her an email asking for her help. You never know what that might do. The only possible downside that I see to this approach is that the Queen might be able to transfer herself to your current computer, but seeing as she appears to still be trapped in, I doubt that will happen. But, if you are to take this approach, do it with caution, and set up another email account and use that. It might be the best way to go in this situation, just so long as you do it before Aug. 10th, as that seems to be when the Queen will transform into her new stage.

We're here for you, and we're ready to help you, if you can just tell us any little bit more than we know already. Please reply. It would me alot to us.

Paul </dd></dl>

Tuesday 10th

<dl><dt> On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 12:24:45 -0400 (EDT), Alaranth wrote:</dt> <dd> Hi Dana! I'm sure by now you've already gotten a million emails today about this -- but looks like whatever took over the ilovebees site has found a way out... If you have sound at any of the internet cafes you're near, it's creepy. There's definitely voices in the wav files on both hives.html and comatas.html. Or rather, a single female voice that keeps repeating "I love bees". So far it doesn't look like this has spread to other websites, but there's a literal spread on your aunt's site. The graphics are all over the place, intermixed with new text messages. We also found a bunch of coordinates on the links page, which are being deciphered at the moment.<br> Hang tight, glad you came back online! We'll definitely keep you posted as to what's happening. Stay safe.<br> -Sara</dd></dl>

<dl><dt>Dana replied:</dt> <dd> Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 01:01:55 -0700<br> From: Dana Awbrey <><br> Subject: Re: Medium Metastasized<br> <br> Hi Sara!<br> a way out... augh. yeah, I heard that creepy voice. Goosebumps, right? I wanted to let you know that I finally emailed the sleeping princess to let her know I'm back, in a long-distance kinda way. What I sent her is below, I hope it helps. Thanks for checking in... it really helps to have caring friends like you keep pinging. (isn't it a funny thought that friendships would grow out of this miserable mess? That's what it feels like to me, though. The silver lining.)<br> Talk to you soon...<br> -d.<br> [same email to SP removed for space] </dd></dl>

Wednesday 11th

from [WWW]here.

<dl><dt>Joseph wrote:</dt> <dd> Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 01:26:20 EDT Subject: i love bees To:<BR><BR> hey are you? bejing treating you good?..i sure hope it is, the last time i was there i had a hard and my friends have found out that you escaped from the operator for now...just be real careful when the system becomes wide awake...well hope your doing good..<BR><BR> your spartan,<BR> joseph </dd></dl> <dl><dt>Dana replied:</dt> <dd> Hi Joseph,<BR> Beijing was amazing, but exhausting. Hiking and camping along the Great Wall was unreal. Thanks for asking. :)<BR> Escaped... I hope so. Fingers crossed. Reassuring to hear you say that. By the way, I emailed the Sleeping Princess to let her know that I'm back on the case (sort of, in a long-distance kinda way.) Here's what I sent her. I hope it helps.<BR> -d.<BR><BR> Dear Sleeping Princess,<BR><BR> My friends tell me that you would like me to come back.<BR> I'm here. <BR> By here, I mean online. On a computer, on email, like you. <BR> But I'm not in San Francisco. I'm not "home."<BR> You say you can protect me. But I don't understand how.<BR> So I am going to stay here, which is far away.<BR><BR> Are we really Best Friends?<BR> Best friends share secrets.<BR> If the secret you found can help me and my other friends, please show us.<BR><BR> Love,<BR> Dana</dd></dl>

Friday 13th

<dl><dt>princeofthesword wrote:</dt><DD> On Fri, 13 Aug 2004 02:00:42 -0400, jmcdonald <> wrote:

...hey girl, we've been worried about you. I'm glad you're back on the blog, but it sure gets cluttered. Is there any other way we can contact you? I'm trying to get the whole of us to interact with you more collectively to save you time and space, I'm sure a thousand emails gets irritating. Heck, I get mad when I get just a hundred spam!

So I guess I'm just asking is there some way you can think of that would help you out with organizing our, uh, help? Any suggestions would be great. Hate to phrase it this way, but you're our Queen, and we're your bees, your busy hive. Help us help you, your Majesty. I feel right now that we're kind of a disorganized hive, of sorts.

I'm guessing you're up to date with all that's going on with the site and all, sure there's plenty of people mailing you about the text and hidden messages, Phase 3 and all that. All the supposed entities (personalities?) involved, so I won't get into that right now. But um, assuming your site is now infected by some AI, should we talk to it? We have contact with something through your aunt's email account, but I'm more concerned with the entity on the site itself, the one we've come to call Melissa. Or the Queen, Operator, whatever. She doesn't like you much, as you know, but if we could somehow let her know that you're not a threat, that WE'RE not a threat, maybe we can help her? She's labelled you as a threat because you were purging the site earlier, but if we could explain to her somehow that it was a mistake, maybe...? "She" sounds just as alone and scared as I'm sure you've felt sometimes.

Difference is, you've got us. But maybe Melissa needs some help too. Despite all the "beings" on the site, Melissa seems kinda alone. Maybe you can contact her somehow that we can't. I know it sounds scary, but we don't have any way to reach her. Just ladybee777. Oh, lol and this just all gets weirder, the "Sleeping Princess" entity that seems to use your aunt's email now wants to talk to you too. She says that you're her friend, in the same boat and all that. Strangely, something in the back of my head doesn't trust her as much. Something's going on, and we don't know what.

But like I said, you're our queen, we're your hive. Help us help you, please. I know you're on vacation, and gosh your blog is more of a "clog" now, but please we need your help. If you can contact us somehow, mail me (any of us) back, and we'll do what we can. Just remember, you're not alone, we're with you every step of the way. Oh, and enjoy your vacation


Prince of the Sword


Interesting to note this was sent only the evening before and that Dana uses the email name ("J") rather than Prince's signoff.

<dl><dt>Dana replied:</dt><DD>

Hi J.,

... my busy hive! I'm sure Aunt M would like that metaphor. I just wanted to let you know that I emailed the Sleeping Princess to let her know I'm "back"-- more or less. Here's what I sent, I hope it helps. thanks for catching me up to speed... please keep in touch.


[same SP text]


<dl><dt>Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2004 23:49:11 -0700<br> From: Dana Awbrey <><br> To:<br> Subject: Re: Computer location?</dt><dd>

Hi Speaker,<br> I've been getting a LOT of emails lately asking me about the physical<br> location of the server for my aunt's web site, and that's kind of<br> freaking me out.<br> no offense, I'm sure (or, umm... sort of sure) that you guys have good<br> intentions, and I see what you mean about the whole spokes thing, but<br> it's just a little weird to be getting so many emails asking me that<br> all of a sudden. so for my aunt's sake, who is still back in the<br> states after all, I'm not giving out any more info about that. sorry.<br> really glad you're working on making sense of those coordinates,<br> though. sorry to be a bit evasive, but I think you understand why,<br> right?<br> -d.</dd></dl>

<dl><dt>On Fri, 13 Aug 2004 12:26:32 -0500 (CDT), <> wrote:</dt><dd> > Hey Dana,<br> > Some of us are wondering about the location of the<br> > webserver... since the Queen appears to be making roads from the "castle"<br> > we thought we'd look at those locations as spokes from the server<br> > location. Is the server in San Francisco?<br> ><br> > Thanks,<br> > Speaker<br> > </dd></dl>

Picking this one out of the many on the forums because it solves a Puzzle:

<dl><dt>raveneyes wrote:</dt><dd> Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 19:50:18 -0500<BR> Subject: sleeping princess..<BR> To:

dear dana,

I've emailed you before without result, but I feel a need to continue to, despite the fact that you've more then likely gotten the information that I'm going to impart, it's the thought that counts eh?

the sleeping princess(henceforth sp) has sent out another email, rather informative..I'll copy and paste it at the end of this email, she's glad you're back, and did release her "secret", perhaps she emailed you as well? that isnt something I thought of.

I'll ask you again since I didn't get a reply last time, and hope to get one this time..the chinese at the end of your last voice mail msg, was rather easy to be say the least. could you perhaps tell us what you were trying to say, in your own words?

anyway, on with the story, have fun in asia, I wish I was there. drink a few cokes for me..they taste much better there _


(inserted latest ladybee777 email) </dd></dl> <dl><dt>Dana replied:</dt><dd> From - Sun Aug 15 02:08:50 2004<BR> X-UIDL: <><BR> X-Mozilla-Status: 0011<BR> X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000<BR> Return-Path: <><BR> Received: from ([]) by<BR> (InterMail vM. 201-2131-111-104-103-20040709) with ESMTP<BR> id <><BR> for <>; Sun, 15 Aug 2004 03:01:44 -0400<BR> Received: by with SMTP id 80so71768rnk<BR> for <>; Sun, 15 Aug 2004 00:01:45 -0700 (PDT)<BR> Received: by with SMTP id d39mr492198rng;<BR> Sun, 15 Aug 2004 00:01:45 -0700 (PDT)<BR> Message-ID: <><BR> Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 00:01:45 -0700<BR> From: Dana Awbrey <><BR> Reply-To: Dana Awbrey <><BR> To: Raveneyes <><BR> Subject: Re: sleeping princess..<BR> In-Reply-To: <><BR> Mime-Version: 1.0<BR> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8<BR> Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable<BR> References: <><BR>

Hi Raveneyes,<BR> Yes! I saw the SP's secret... but what do you make of it?<BR> and *blush* yeah after being over here a couple of weeks I'm getting<BR> the feeling that my Mandarin's a bit wonky. I was trying to say:<BR> I'm lost.<BR> Wo mi-lu le<BR> and<BR> I'm sorry.<BR> Dui-bu-qi.<BR> Two phrases, incidentally, which I've had plenty of opportunity to<BR> practice over here, lol. Usually the last one is paired with "Wo bu<BR> dong". (I don't understand!) Oh well. That seems to be a recurring<BR> theme these days for me... thanks for your help trying to me it less<BR> so.<BR> -d. <BR>


<dl><dt>Atma wrote (on Friday, 13 Aug 2004 22:35:30 -0400):</dt><DD>

Hey Dana,

I've been following the whole problem for awhile, pretty crazy stuff. Out of curiosity, have you been checking your voicemail from China? I suspect that if the Queen (or whoever is leaving that creepy voice on the sound files for your site) finally figures out how to "talk" he/she/it might try leaving you a voicemail message. Just a thought.

Hope China is cool!

Take care, Andy


<dl><dt>Dana replied (on Sun, 15 Aug 2004 01:35:06 -0500):</dt><DD>

Hi Andy, wow... that's a really interesting and yet unsettling idea...! I'm not sure I WANT that creepy "I love bees" voice leaving me messages, but I see what you mean about opening up that line of communication. My mom's been after me to buy a phone card and changing my outgoing message, anyway, so maybe I'll do that, and clear out the mailbox while I'm at it.. thanks for the suggestion. talk to you soon... -d.


Sunday 15th

<dl><dt>eigenhat wrote (on Sunday, 15 Aug 2004 01:00:45 EDT):</dt><DD>

hi dana,

i've been following your problem and feel very bad about what has happened. i'm trying to figure it all out myself but its all rather confusing at the moment. since i didn't feel i could contribute to the solution of the puzzle right now, i decided i would put my efforts toward making a piece of music that was in a style that matched how i felt when i am learning about the interesting things going on inside your computer. you can access this file here: i hope you enjoy it. i also hope this all gets resolved quickly... i've been thinking about it way too much, as i'm sure you have as well. take care, and stay safe in china.... i hear they don't like organized demonstrations so stay away from those.

sincerely, craig


<dl><dt>Dana replied (on Sun, 15 Aug 2004 01:54:14 EDT):</dt><DD> Hi Craig, Wow, that's pretty cool... thanks! I can't download MP3s in this Internet cafe, grrrr... but I'll figure out a way to listen to it soon. I'm really curious to hear it now. I love the idea of composing, like, a soundtrack to someone's site. that's a killer idea. -d.


<i>I'm curious about the timestamp, especially the (-0500) timezone designation. Is this assigned by gmail?</i> --UserAtma 13:20 15 Aug 2004 (EST)

<i>-5 is EDT, the timezone on the East Coast US currently. It seems odd that Dana would be replying from a -5 timezone and that she would reply on Sunday (Usually e-mailing has been in bulk and on Tues/Fri). just my $.02</i> --UserCivman 14:26, 15 Aug 2004 (PDT)

:<i>It looks like a few players received e-mail from Dana today. Check [WWW]here and [WWW]here for some samples from the forums. Also, the more I think about it, the less important those timestamps look. They were probably assigned by the U.S. based gmail servers, which dana could be accessing from anywhere in the world.</i> --UserAtma 17:47 15 Aug 2004 (EST) :: Indeed, I'm in GMT (well, BST at the moment) but all mail sent through my Gmail account has East Coast timestamps. IIRC you may be able to set your local timezone, though (I haven't got round to it, and can't check from here.) -- UserSherpa 05:42, 16 Aug 2004 (PDT)

<i>do you still have the message? if yes, you should post the headers. It could be a fake.</i> --UserPhoenix

<i>I don't know if this means anything, but i find it interesting that dana used alliteration in her email response to me...."soundtrack to someone's site". She has done this before in her blog entries..."seen and skinned" and although not alliteration, she placed the word "Safe!" in the middle of an entry. This could be nothing, but I found it interesting. If it did mean something I'm not sure what it would mean other than something regarding the letter 'S'.</i>--UserEigenhat 21:40, 15 Aug 2004 (PDT) : Some people just like the sound of certain words and letters... -- UserSherpa 05:42, 16 Aug 2004 (PDT)

<dl><dt>UserShadow wrote:</dt> <dd>Subject: Fwd: (no subject)<br> Date: 8/15/2004 12:50:52 PM Pacific Standard Time<br> To: [MAILTO]<br>

Dear Dana:

Thanks for taking the time to write back in the midst of what ought to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I'm sure by now you've heard that the "Sleeping Princess," or whatever it is that is intercepting e-mail to your aunt's hotmail account, has responded to your e-mail and shared the "secret" she found. She probably sent you a copy directly; even if she didn't, I'm sure by now you have received the traditional 836 copies from all of us. But better safe than sorry, so here it is just in case you haven't already seen it.

You have also probably seen the strange list of coordinates that has popped up on the "fun stuff" page on (links.html). Based on the Princess's e-mail, there is widespread speculation that these are GPS coordinates, and that they probably represent locations significant to the main entity infecting your aunt's computer (whom seems to be called "The Operator" or "Melissa"). Some of us are wondering whether it might be worthwhile to chart the locations relative to the physical server where ilovebees is stored.

I believe I saw something in one of your early weblog comments about it being at your aunt's house. I don't mean to pry, but if you're comfortable revealing this kind of information to a complete stranger who is trying to help you, would you mind confirming whether the server is, in fact, in San Francisco, California? If you'd rather not, don't even give it a second thought.

All right, enough about the creepy stuff for the moment. I'd love to know how you're finding the Orient, since I've never been anywhere near the Far East, myself. I heard that the Chinese government recently confirmed that, contrary to rumor and their own history books, one actually cannot see the Great Wall of China from space. You have surely visited it -- what's it look like from down here?

Shad0<br> --<br> These were the puzzles that would take a day, these were puzzles that would take a week, and these puzzles they'd probably never figure out until we broke down and gave them the answers. ... The Cloudmakers solved <i>all</i> of these puzzles on the <i>first day</i>.

[attached 8/13 e-mail from Sleeping Princess]

<dt>Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]> replied</dt> <dd> Subject: Re: (no subject)<br> Date: 8/21/2004 9:43:25 PM Pacific Standard Time<br> From: Dana Awbrey <[MAILTO]><br> <br> Hi Shad0,<br> [the same e-mail about getting help drafting her next blog post]<br> -d.<br> p.s. hiking the Great Wall feels like walking on infinity itself. thanks for asking about the trip. :)<br> </dd></dl>

Saturday 21st
<dl><dt>Dana wrote:</dt> <dd> Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 21:33:20 -0700 <br> From: "Dana Awbrey" <> <br> To: xxxxxxxxxx<br> Subject: Re: A Quick Question <br>

Hi <recipient>,<br> I hope I'm not bothering you by asking, but I thought you might be able to help me with something... <br> I'm trying to draft a sort of "What we know, in 50 words or less" post for my blog. (Hmmm... maybe 100 words is more like it...? Or 25? I guess it depends on how much you think we've actually figured out....) I have a feeling that whatever happens when the axons go hot, it's going to attract even more attention, and I want to be able to tell people what we've figured out after a month of investigating.<br> So: You've sent me some really clear-headed explanations and smart theories in the past. I guess I'm hoping you might have a few ideas for what I can put up. What do you think we know, for sure, so far? <br> -d. <br> </dd> </dl> <i>This email has been sent to numerous people, apparently a mass email to receive a collection of replies to help her gauge what we know that she should include in her new blog post. - perhaps create a new page to list all the replies people have sent her</i>


<dl><dt>UserRandy wrote:</dt> <dd>Subject: <br> Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 14:32:32 -0500<br> To: [MAILTO]<br>

Hello, Dana.

I specialize in website defacement repair and prevention. Your website was brought to my attention by a national television network, G4TechTV. I would like to let you know that you have many supporters out there. If you need any help, feel free to contact me, and I will be more than happy to lend you a hand. I hope you and your aunt the best.

Respectfully, Randy Johnston

September 2004