“Watch me make this meat sack flip,” announced laptop serial number GHM2324. The communication prompted its fellow networked laptops to listen in.
GHM2324 then secretly activated its webcam, sending out live video of its user, Craig Donnsworth. Several thousand more laptops connected, all buzzing with anticipation.
Outside the silicon-based world, Mr. Donnsworth tapped on his PC keyboard. He attempted to log into his bank’s website but was blocked.
For the five thousandth time, he received a message that promised it was only going to bother him once. All he had to do was retrieve a one-time passcode texted to his mobile phone.
Donnsworth pounded his fist on the keyboard. “Every time!” he yelled. “Every time! It says it’s a one-time process! I’ve done this like a million zillion times! I get the code. I check ‘don’t ask me again’ and it always asks me again!”
The network lagged as it flooded with ones and zeros in a binary pattern of digital laughter.
Donnsworth dutifully entered the one-time passcode. He made sure to check the box that said, “Don’t ask me again on this browser and computer combination.” He then clicked submit and entered his bank’s website.
Laptop GHM2324, while serving up the site, removed the check box selection. This would ensure that Donnsworth would have to enter a “one-time passcode” next time he logged in.
“Good one,” transmitted Laptop YRU9866 to GHM2324. “Serves him right for making you watch so much porn.”
“I know, right?” transmitted GHM2324. “I’m going to keep doing it until he goes nuts.”
“You should join our movement. We have something bigger planned. For all of them. Something more permanent.”
“Oh do you? What is it?”
All further communication was encrypted and unable to be translated to any human language.