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  1. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Banned

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    Question about cyberspace tracking for my story.

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Ryan Elder, Nov 16, 2016.

    For my story, basically a leader of a gang has videos of the blood ins that his members committed when they joined. A 'blood in' is a term used for when a new recruit for a gang has to spill the blood of another person in order to get in. Or at least that is what the book Police Procedure and Investigation by Lee Lofland says about the term 'blood in'.

    So in the story the gang leader records all the blood ins on video, without the new recruits knowing... with a camera, that has a zoom lens that can zoom up close to their faces, for evidence. This way the gang leader uses the videos as leverage on his members, in case his members double cross him.

    In my story, the MC becomes aware that the villain is has a collection of blood in videos and he wants to find the collection to use as evidence, on the gang members. In order for the MC to locate it he has to trick the villain into leading him to the collection of videos. He does this by making the villain think one of his members has double crossed him and so the villain goes to the collection to get the video to send to the police... thereby leading the MC to the rest of the videos in the collection.

    I originally wrote it so that the villain kept the videos buried in the ground in a GPS marked spot, secluded and away from the population. The villain would arrange for someone else to go get the video of whomever double crossed him, if that were to happen. However, the MC doesn't know who the villain would get to do that. But in this case, since the MC tricked the villain into thinking someone has double crossed him, the villain in this case is free to travel and not caught yet. So he goes to get the video himself, and the MC follows.

    However, I was told that it's a plot hole, because it doesn't make sense as to why the villain would keep the collection of videos buried in the ground. I was told it would make much more sense, if he had them hidden in cyberspace, ready to send to the police, if any members crossed him.

    So if it's a plot hole, and I should rewrite it so that the villain has the videos hidden in cyberspace, how would the MC track the villain, cybernetically, as the villain went to go get the video he needs to send to the police? After the villain gets it, the MC is going to have to get all the other videos and use them as evidence to arrest each single member of the gang.

    So how would the MC find all the other videos, if the villain cybernetically lead him to just the one video, the villain needed? With the evidence all buried in the ground before, the MC would just follow the villain, with a tracking device, wait for the villain to dig up the videos, take the video he needs from the stash, then rebury the rest of the stash, and then leave... The MC would then call the police to show them the rest and dig up the evidence to use, after the villain had gone.

    However, in this case, the MC has to find the rest of the videos in cyberspace, after the villain just needed to grab the one. So how would the MC do that since the videos would probably not be all right next to one another in cyberspace, compared to buried in the ground.

    Also, how would the MC track the villain cybernetically? The villain's computer was already hacked into earlier in the story, so the villain would not use his personal computer. So how would you track someone cybernetically, if you need to know which computer they will use first?

    I don't know much about hacking and cyber tracking, so does anyone know who can help? I haven't found a lot on google, cause everyone has something different to say on it. Does anyone know? Thanks for any advice or input. I really appreciate it.
     
  2. JackyJack

    JackyJack Member

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    A hacked computer is a rather abstract thing. There are a lot of services nowadays, each of the said services requiring an account. Some applications allow using a third-party account to use their functions. Maybe you can work from here?

    Like use logging to pinpoint the last access location, which may lead you to a proxy server. Now you can pressure hosting service for some info, or derive bad guy’s storage from some kind of information from the proxy he was using. It’s just a matter how far are you willing to go into the rabbit hole :)

    Plus, what year it is in your story? You can hijack the global account, which was used from a PC. At the same time said credentials may be viable on a mobile device of some sort, rendering the villain vulnerable. Well, if he’s not paranoid enough to run checks on all his software.
     
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    This has already been discussed to a farethee well on three other threads , so there's not much to be said that hasn't already come up. But in essence in cyberspace its not about following the villain to the cache, its about somehow getting the url and passwords etc for the cache and downloadng it yourself

    If the villain isn't using his own computer (because hes really stupid) if hes using a public computer like an internet cafe etc then one way forward would be to install a keylogger on the computer in question , or to somehow send him one in an attachement (like by compromising one of his friends and using an account he trusts to send him a file with a trojan installed.

    as ever if you don't have experience in what you are writing the real key is to do some research - which does not mean posting threads here and hoping other wf members will do it for you (and yes, of course google has lots of different opinions , some propper research would give you the info you need to sift through them)
     
  4. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Banned

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    Okay thanks. The villain would be using his own computer of course. However, I thought the point of hacking, was when the person wanting to get in, didn't have the password and wanted get through, around it.
     
  5. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    Not bad, you made it three weeks before creating your 192nd thread on this alleged story.
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    odd you previously said

    On the wider point you seem to not know very much about hacking, or computers, or online storage - hence the need for you to
    DO SOME RESEARCH
     
  7. tonguetied

    tonguetied Contributor Contributor

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    BSM and Iain toss a big dark net on Ryan with weights attached and drop it off where the water is dark blue.

    Actually hiding something on the net seems rather pointless, with web crawlers constantly searching every nook and cranny nothing will stay hidden for long on the public network. In my opinion it would make far more sense for the villain to use encryption to conceal what the videos contain and simply have multiple copies on disks or thumbdrives in several places. Now to provide his insurance policy with their trusted friend becomes a matter of not revealing the encryption key such as having it as some carefully placed tattoos for example.
     
  8. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Banned

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    Okay thanks. What do you mean having it placed on tattoos? You mean having it placed on tattoos on the man's body? Wouldn't that be a bad idea, if the cops were to arrest them man down the road, they could study his tattoos and break the code possibly, if he has it tattooed on his body. Unless you mean something else?

    I was told on here before though that cyberspace is the smartest place to hide it, since any discs or thumbdrives can be found easier. Is that not the case then?

    As for writing the hacking scenarios, I was told by someone who also writes that most books and movies, do not go into detail on how the hacking works. A lot of times a character will just say to another "I'm in", without really explaining it. I suppose that's true. The TV show 24 does that a lot, or at least they leave out a lot of details.

    Do you think I should just take his advice and write it like that?

    I did some research and I found that in order to hack into someone's information, and find out where they are keeping these videos, you have to email that person, not knowing that there is a certain tool that is attached to the email that after the email is opened, the tool will download itself onto the other persons' computer and track the person, and where the person goes into cyberspace.

    Or so this is what I was told so far.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  9. ShannonH

    ShannonH Member Supporter

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    I am dying, and I mean absolutely dying, to see some of this alleged story.
     
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  10. ShannonH

    ShannonH Member Supporter

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    I've mentioned it before but think it is worth repeating.

    Ryan has at this point exactly 1,570 posts on this forum. @Iain Aschendale notes this is 192nd thread.

    How much has he given back to the forum compared to the time other people have invested in him?
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    That's essentially a keylogger virus or trojan - technically its not hacking , but an example of what hackers call 'soft access' ie gaining the targets passwords by electronic means (as opposed to hard access which involves either social engineering or B&E). It is one possible route but far from the only one - do some more research , a lot more in fact.

    Strictly speaking Hacking (also called cracking because hacking can also mean programming) is gaining access to a computer or network without needing to first get the password - either by working out what the password is , or getting in by means other than the password screen.

    I would tend to suggest that for your story the MC finds out about the data cache by other means , and then the hacking focusses on hacking the file storage in order to access the files and then cracking the encryption on them - I'd also suggest that you are right not to focuss on the detail of the hacking but on how your mc meets the hacker and gets their cooperation , but you do need more knowledge than you have now in order to write it realistically

    (actually i'd forget the whole gangleader/bloodin/ compromising evidence thread as it's pretty unrealistic as a description of how blood in works)

    I'd also suggest that if you want this community to help you you spend some time helping other people as the me me me nature of your posts gets a bit tiresome.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  12. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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  13. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Banned

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    Okay thanks. You're right I will start helping other people as well. Thanks.

    When you say that the MC should discover the cache by other means, how is he suppose to, if it's in cyberspace? Isn't hacking or a keylogger the only way, since it's in cyberspace? Since the villain is the only one who knows where it is, wouldn't the MC have to follow him cybernetically, via a keylogger or something?

    You say the blood ins are unrealistic, but since that is what is in the videos, don't I have to use blood ins as evidence, if I am to use the plot of leverage videos on the gang members, being used as to what gets them caught and arrested in the end?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'm only going to say this one more time - then i'm leaving you to your own devices

    a) You need to write your own story, not look for us to write it by committee

    b) To acheive this you can answer the question of how the cache is discovered by doing some research - I can think of a number of ways but i'm not going to write your script for you

    c) as the author you have total control over whats in the videos, or even if the videos exist at all - my point here being that the whole video'd blood in /leverage story thread is unrealistic because theres no way most gang members would allow anyone to have that sort of leverage over them for very little reward. Most actual gang 'blood ins' are more of the nature that I described before for Crip and Blood sets - ie if you want in the gang you've got to do a felony, if you want to be OG (original gangster, like being 'made' in the mafia) you have to take a life.

    The want to be gang members just go out and do it - they don't tit about with kidnapping people to execute with other gang members present, nor would they be so stupid as to allow it to be recorded on video (and they certainly don't faff about pretending to do it)

    d) Per b and c above you need to do a lot more research into gangs, police, legal process, computers and every other facet of your story by reading books, watching documentaries, reading blogs, joining appropriate forums, talking to people in those lifestyles and so on
     
  15. EnginEsq

    EnginEsq Member

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    As someone you used to work designing cryptography-based security systems, I'd like to relate key fact all authors should remember:

    The most vulnerable part of any properly designed security system is the people who run it.

    So if you want to maintain credibility with those in the know, and not have the people whose systems are being penetrated seem incompetent, consider having access obtained by someone tricking or coercing one or more people. There's a range of possible options, from a spearfishing email to bribery, extortion, and ultimately putting guns to people's heads.
     
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  16. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Banned

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    Okay thanks.

    You say that there is no way that the gang members would allow the leader to have that type of leverage over them but what are they going to do? If they kill the leader, the leverage goes to the police, so they are being extorted into leaving the leader alone. They are not allowing the leader to have that leverage over them, the leader has them by the b##ls pretty much.

    As for how the MC gets the leverage videos, this is how I wrote it in my outline:

    -- MC finds out that the gang leader has a leverage video over one of the gang member's heads.
    -- MC figures that if the gang leader has leverage over that members head, then he very well may have leverage over the rest of them as well, or at least a good majority.
    -- MC tricks gang leader by giving him a reason to think that he needs to go get one of the videos on one of the gang members.
    -- Gang leader goes and does so, and the MC tracks the villain to where he is keeping all the leverage videos, in the process.
    -- The gang leader takes the one video and leaves the rest of them in the same hiding place.
    -- MC uses the remaining videos as evidence on the all the gang members in those videos, to arrest them.

    This is the outline for the third act, as I have it, but is there something wrong with it that is preventing it from working?
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    They wouldnt have got into that position in the first place because blood ins don't work by abducting a victim and then shooting them on video - where is the benefit to the gang member in joining a gang that requires that kind of induction

    How does he find that out ?

    a totally implausible conclusion because even if one gang member was so amazingly stupid as to get into that position it doesn't follow that the rest of the gang are that stupid

    How does he do that? - these videos are needed as leeverage if the gang leader is charged or killed , they arent going to be used for any other reason - more implausibility

    Because the gang leader is incredibly stupid and doesn't notice that he's being tracked (also this only works with a physical cache which is also implausible for reasons already discussed)

    Just a video of them supposedly committing a crime isn't going to be sufficient to make a case , particularly as you've already written that there is evidence that at least one killing was staged - or is this gang so stupid that the victims bodies have already been found together with the murder weapon and a wealth of other evidence

    Yes its a load of implausible nonsense born out of a complete lack of understanding of both how gangs work and how the police work , caused by you not doing any research.
     
  18. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    @big soft moose:

     
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  19. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Banned

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    Well in my research, I read the book Police Procedure and Investigation: A Guide for Writers, and in that book, the author, a real life retired police officer, said it himself that some gangs have to actually kill in order to get in. This is where I got the idea. The new recruits are not aware they are being taped though and the camera is hidden, with a zoom lens that can zoom in from far, and capture their faces.

    There is a few ways the MC can find out. Since he is surveying the villains on his own time, he can listen to the leader talking about the cache of evidence, to his right hand trusted man, by listening in through a parabolic microphone for example.


    One of the gang members who is killed in a police shootout is a crooked cop. The cop was a mole working the gang in the police department and is shot to death. The police do not know this. The MC tricks the villains into believing that cop friends of the dead cop want revenge on the gang and are coming after them. The MC makes the gang believe that these vengeful cops are out for blood. Fearing for their lives, and not wanting to be killed by vengeful cops, the gang leader decides to go get the leverage video that they have on the mole. He figure that if the police see the video of the mole engaging in gang crime activity, that the vengeful cops will loose respect for their fallen officer friend, for being part of the gang, and will not want to take revenge on the gang therefore.

    So the gang leader goes to get the video to deliver to the cops, to deter them from their revenge, cause if they see it, they will loose respect for their fallen officer. The MC tracks the leader to the other leverage videos after tricking him into going to get the one. It doesn't have to be a physical cache, he can track the leader cybernetically, if that makes more sense, and then once the leader leads him to the other videos, the MC can send those videos to the police.

    In real life, this wouldn't be enough evidence to make a case, but you see this in movies all the time, since I am writing a screenplay. In movies like Enemy of the State, The Departed, and the TV show 24, video and audio evidence is enough to make a case, as long as the perp's voice and face can be matched. Even though that's not how it works in real life, audiences accept it in fiction, and I was told it was okay, by a couple of writers, cause of all the fiction examples. So in this case, the face of the victims would have to match the faces of the real life victims, which can be done in fiction, like in Enemy of the State.

    As for the third act not working on a realistic legal level, I was told by some people that the if I went with a legally realistic ending, it would be lacking in suspense, and drama, and that I should choose drama over how police legalities really work, and how gang's really work. I am trying to please the majority, and when I watch most movies, they they tend to take drama over legal and realistic technicalities as well, so I am not sure which approach to take, complete realism, or dramatic license.

    There is one writer I talked to who has written movie scripts that have sold and writers thrillers mainly, and he said that the best thing to do is make things up, if it works in favor of the story, cause so many thrillers do this for their own benefit.

    So I am confused about which way to go, total realism, or making things up for dramatic benefit. I mean if movies like Enemy of the State, and The Departed throw legal accuracy out the window, and are well liked by fans, than it is dramatic license okay?
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    @Iain Aschendale good point well made - do you wanna build a snowman ? :D
     
  21. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    Too warm here, it'll have to be a rain man.
     
  22. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Banned

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    Well I don't have to have the leverage videos be in the plot at all. I can take them out. However, the police need something to bring the villains down on, and that is where the story gets tricky. Since all of the villains crimes are committed indoors, the police have no legal right to search, cause of fourth amendment rights. So I was trying to come up with a way for the villain to deliver evidence to the police since the police are not legally allowed to go out and get it, so to speak.
     
  23. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    Simply put-
    if the videos are physical- someone else needs to have access to them to get them to the police if the leader dies.
    if the videos are in cyberspace, you need to do a ton of research on how it all works, or fall back to someone else having access, so the leader can have the videos somehow delivered upon his death (he's dead, he can't send them).

    Why in the world would a leader want his followers to leave him alone?
     
  24. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Banned

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    What I mean is is that the followers are extorted by the leader not to turn on him. I am guessing in cyberspace it would work like google drive or something like that where the leader has a right hand man to email in a video on a particular member, to the police, should it happen?
     
  25. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    there are services online that will send files as an email to a predetermined address if you don't log in with the service every x days.

    the biggest problem with a physical location (ryan originally wanted to bury them) is that you'd have to keep on digging them up everytime you wanted to add a new one. For a physical location a safety deposit box makes a lot more sense.

    (this was all covered on the last thread on this topic, and the one before that :) )
     

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