How to steal gasoline using Assembler (based on real events)
Under the cut you will find a fascinating story that the narrator will tell us in the first person. I only proudly publish this story for the first time here, with permission and at the request of the author, who wished to remain anonymous.
“Strictly speaking, the title of the article is a mistake. We did not steal gasoline, either with Assembler or with an electric drill. We didn’t steal it at all. It’s just that life made in due time a little trick and redistributing a small part of this gasoline into personal gas tanks, honestly paying all gasoline to the penny. But why did you need to do this? Well, remember the story.
Not a very distant story, but only the 90s. In our almost southern city, there was a situation where there was simply nowhere to buy gasoline. Neither overpayment, nor acquaintance. No way. The abnormal, severe shortage of gasoline stopped all desire to drive a personal car for personal use. Of course, someone solved this problem with a very significant phone call, someone simply stole gas from enterprises, but my colleagues and engineers didn’t have such capabilities. And then it turned out that the power of intelligence has not yet been canceled. The city was supposed to provide gasoline for special vehicles. This is not only police cars, ambulances and other emergency special services, it is also a lot of bossy cars, whose passengers did not want to endure the lack of gas “like everyone else”. How to make sure that, despite traditional corruption, have special vehicles always been with gasoline? Electronics helped.
Small technical details: at that time there was already a technological base for electronic gas metering, there were already a lot of “personal computers”, in other words, personal computers with a powerful, high-speed Intel 8086 processor, or even Intel 80286 with a clock speed up to 16 MHz. Very promptly a very conscientious and responsible company developed a complex for the issuance of gasoline using plastic cards. The real chip inside the card exchanged real secret codes with the receiver, and only this system could control the filling equipment. Any manual control was disabled and sealed. The gas station operator, in a simple way, the gas station, now sat in front of a real personal computer, and the driver of the special vehicle inserted a card WHERE NECESSARY, and the system poured gas into the tank with strict regard to whom, where, and how much.
At that time, our former employee worked as a gas tanker at a gas station: the time was difficult and it was necessary to feed the family. What you are about to read may surprise you, but it was: no attempts to negotiate with the developers and installers of the system led to anything. Yes, they didn’t lead to anything. These honest guys did not even think of revealing control codes for their system. But I really wanted to buy at least some gasoline sometimes. There was no way out, I had to use intelligence.
Provided a small breakdown in the personal computer, the gas station stopped working for two days. For the first day, the super-system adjusters almost launched their electronics, the next day they continued. On the evening of the first day, the management of the gas station did not work yet. The professional guys stopped their work, put down their tools, transferred the rest of the work to tomorrow and left.
The stopwatch is on!
Kites, lovers of software carrion in the amount of two people ran to a gas station. It is clear that no one seals the computer when tomorrow you need to continue to work, and when the system still does not work. The computer was not really sealed. Very quickly, we plugged in a wonderful, reliable drive for 5-inch floppy disks and recorded the software we needed on the hard drive. And the volume of the hard drive is very large, as much as 20 megabytes, anything will fit. Until that time, the adjusters strictly watched that there was nothing superfluous in the MS-DOS operating system, in the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files there should be only what was needed, and no more. So it was, so it was decided to upgrade the keyboard and display driver. The driver was exactly what we needed. When working, he always hangs as a resident in the RAM, and everyone knows that he is needed, that you can not do without it. Responsible work on upgrading the driver has begun.
Using a disassembler, we turned the driver program into a character version, into the same driver written in Assembler. It is no longer necessary to intercept the keyboard vector; the driver does this himself. But in the program we added the ability to save the sequence of characters entered from the keyboard in our small buffer, and as the buffer fills up, write this information to disk, in an inconspicuous file known only to the driver. A vector was also intercepted for working with files, and now any file entered from the drive as it was opened, read and closed was carefully duplicated in a well-hidden place on the hard drive. Do not forget to hide on disk also a simple text editor and translator from the Assembler. The computer was closed again, the drive was turned off,
It was morning, electronic professionals came. They quickly completed their work, then introduced their secret test programs from floppy disks, comprehensively checked the system, finally, everything was sealed and brought into working condition. The gas station for special vehicles is working again. But these guys really keep their secrets! They carefully removed the entire testing set of programs from the hard drive, left one securely password-protected working program, carefully repacked the hard drive with the useful program SPEEDDISK.EXE, and, having completed their work, left. Now no one will be able to recover files wiped from the disk; after the SPEEDDISK.EXE program, there is not even a trace of them. It remains, however, that we have provided a duplicate of the entered files in the place on the disk where we need to.
I will not boast: it took at least a week of our work in the evenings to deal as much as possible with other people's software, which we managed to keep for ourselves, despite all attempts to protect us from these programs. Having dealt with the controls, we wrote a special program in assembler, which was able to pour 10 or 20 liters of gasoline bypassing all meters, and do it without plastic cards. We didn’t deceive anyone, and didn’t get into our pockets, we simply managed to force the system to pour gasoline into our tanks with the help of an additional maintenance program.
But what about accounting and control? After all, the amount of gasoline at the gas station was decreasing! Yes, it was decreasing, and shortages were recovered from those refuelers whose shifts were shortages. The tankers paid to the cashier the money we paid them for gas.
This is how the “group of comrades” with higher education was able to alleviate the situation with a shortage of gasoline. Not for everyone, but only for myself, at the same time I did not ruin anyone, and did not steal anything. And over time, it became easier with gasoline, and the electronic refueling system of special vehicles was eliminated due to uselessness.
I do not boast about our actions, I just remember. And when I read that the present sorrow-intellectuals are cleaning bank cards of other people, when I read that the children of geeks who have reached power suddenly become monstrously rich and "talented in business" when ... And you don’t know? Just I do not want to develop this topic, because my article is not about those people whom I, in fact, do not consider for people. They all, taken in bulk, have a place underground, in the mine, that is.
In vain I remembered them, even my mood fell. I just wanted to tell how we once “broke other people's secrets”. Wanted, and told. And although our hack, of course, may seem ridiculous and naive, but this is just a story, and you need to treat it like a story. ”