Sunday, March 28, 2021 / 8:42PM GMT
GENERAL NEWS WIRE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MonoTown sustained a series of interruptions Sunday evening that have been claimed by a group calling themselves “The Factr Faction.” The disruptions were ostensibly caused by the group hacking numerous computer systems and networks, and culminated in MonoTown TV itself being taken off the air and its broadcast commandeered by “LorentzFactr” – the masked leader of the group. City leaders have responded by strongly condemning the attacks, but questions remain around the MonoTown Mainframe while the city heightens security measures designed to thwart any further actions by the Factr Faction.
Full Text of Factr Faction Threat Video
Within any electrical circuit there is resistance. And as complexity and size increases, resistance mounts. MonoTown is a city that….slumbers. The wisened believe that the days of calamity, fear, and destruction are in the past. People walk their streets, live their lives, and dream their dreams with the misguided notion that this city is safe, secure, and all preparations for all eventualities have been made. But they are…..deceived….and are under the spreading shadow of an existential threat greater than any that may have come before. A sweet tasting poison is brewing within our city and with every second that passes, it infiltrates, permeates, and obfuscates. The corruption that controls this city cloaks itself within complexity and feeds from the collective apathy, stoked by venal power. But, resistance, my friends, is coming. Beware. The factor faction will resist. Always.
Disruption Condemned by City Officials
Shortly after the pirate broadcast, Mayor Emily Chapman of MonoTown, flanked by numerous law enforcement, port authority, and SuperHero Liaison officials made a statement in which she strongly condemned both the message and methods of the unknown individual and reminded the perpetrators that, “There is always a choice. We urge the FactrFaction to choose wisely. To choose peace. To choose the proper avenues for discourse. Choose to turn yourselves in.”
Full Text of Mayor Emily Chapman’s Statement
The recent statement released by the so-called Factr Faction is as disturbing as it is nonsensical. MonoTown has always prided itself on being a forward thinking, inclusive, and transparent member of the global community. As such, we strongly condemn both the methods of the Factr Faction, as well its message. And while it’s unclear as to exactly what kind of resistance is being promised, I’d like to remind all citizens of the multiple avenues for representation and debate that are available. And further, these also happen to be protected and promoted by our laws and legal system, while also adhering to our values. Violence and the fomenting of fear is never acceptable, and I, along with good people everywhere, strongly condemn this type of disruptive messaging that stokes discord without a clear end. I urge anyone with knowledge of the Factr Faction to come forward with information that could lead to the apprehension of the individual who illegally disrupted communications networks across the city. There is always a choice. We urge the FactrFaction to choose wisely. To choose peace. To choose the proper avenues for discourse. Choose to turn yourselves in. Thank you.
MonoTown Mainframe Proves Controversial in its Debut
Despite the insistence by the Mayor and her office that the city was fully prepared and monitoring the situation with extra vigilance, there are many questions as to the identify of the group, their motives, and what (if anything) the group is planning to “resist.” A key question is the to what extent this breach will impact the rollout of the MonoTown Mainframe – the centralized municipal computer system and network that has been under planning and development for several years. Originally positioned as a way for the city to save money, improve performance, and streamline access to critical city systems, it was also championed as a way to limit exposure of city systems to cyber warfare and cyber attacks. This claim is now seriously in doubt based on the fact that in just a few weeks of operation, the MonoTown Mainframe has already experienced several outages which affected the MonoTown exchange and transport networks, and suffered a complete takeover at the hands of a terrorist group.
Despite commencing a full reboot and pledging to perform a full forensic analysis, some experts are claiming it won’t be enough, and the entire project should be shelved until a full root cause analysis and third party analysis could be performed. “The entire premise of a single, centralized compute platform has many serious concerns, and should have been much more carefully considered.” said Caldwell Webster, Professor of Computer Science at the MonoTown Institute of Technology. “It’s not that it can’t be made safe and secure, it’s just not a project to rush into and its my opinion and that of several other industry experts that the central and city government have done just that.”, he continued.
“The city has taken extraordinary precautions during both the consultation, implementation, and rollout phases of this project.” said Leonard Harding, Chief Information Officer for the City of MonoTown, and by all accounts one of the main proponents for the centralization initiative. “Any complex system is bound to have its challenges upon release, and until now the MonoTown Mainframe has performed well within design tolerances, despite some rollout challenges.” When asked to comment on whether his opinion of the city’s strategy regarding the mainframe had changed, or whether the security systems are adequate in the face of such a comprehensive disruption, Mr. Harding declined to comment further.
Heightened Security and Citizens Encouraged “To Be Vigilant”
Immediately after the Mayor’s statement, police and security presence was noticeably greater throughout the city. Random bag checks were put in place at Central Station, most transport featured at least one uniformed police officer or transport police, and government buildings stepped up their security presence and are now asking for ID prior to granting access to government property. The Monotown Central Bank deployed private security guards in addition to police presence citing activation of a little-used historic provision that allows it to police its own property, a right that had been mostly ceremonial up till now. The Aviation Ministry also announced that MonoTown airspace was now considered restricted with only essential helicopter and drone traffic permitted, although some exceptions would be made.
In addition to normal security forces being deployed, the Mayor’s Office also announced that it had invoked the “Super Hero Protocol” which activates positive links with a variety of Super Heroes for support against particularly unusual threats. Various Super Heroes were spotted in and around the city but as is normal city policy, it would not divulge which Heroes, if any, it was working with specifically.
Citizens responded to the security crackdown in generally favorable terms according to a poll run by MonoTown.TV, but some measures were condemned by the MonoTown Civil Liberties Union as being “overly onerous” and the Center for Disadvantaged Minifigs as being “discriminatory to those who lack efficient access to identification.”