David and Goliath
1 Samuel 17
David had two jobs. He worked for the family business and also as an intern for a large software consultancy firm SaulSoft.
SaulSoft had a fierce rivalry with Philistine Inc. Industrial espionage between the two companies was a regular occurrence due to a lack of laws and government oversight.
The conflict between the two companies escalated over time until an engineer at Philistine Inc. created a new tool for use in the war with their opponents.
Goliath was a leap beyond all that had gone before it. As a computer virus, it could take down the most essential systems within a target network, destroying the system in a way that caused devastation to the business affected.
News of the creation of Goliath was “leaked,” and soon, the industry was buzzing with speculation and gossip. In board rooms everywhere, emergency meetings were convened where executives and heads of departments nervously discussed what to do about the new threat.
Among the uncertainty that news of Goliath created, Philistine Inc. attempted to take over SaulSoft. They offered to buy all shares at a fraction of the value they were trading at, or they would unleash Goliath on their network. SaulSoft was given 40 days to consider the offer.
Not content with waiting patiently, Philistine Inc. took out advertisements to let everyone know what was happening in an attempt to intimidate the SaulSoft board into accepting the offer. Soon, everyone knew about the Philistine Inc. offer and the threat of Goliath. Beyond the tech sector and the offer (and threat) was being discussed along with other mainstream news.
David had three older brothers who also worked at SaulSoft. One day, David was enjoying a family lunch of cheese sandwiches with them. His brothers were more senior in the company, and David asked them what the company was going to do about the situation.
The brothers told David that everyone was reluctant to make a decision. No-one felt capable of tackling the threat of Goliath. And, no-one wanted to be responsible for taking the share price offer and becoming the cause of many people losing a lot of money and their jobs.
With a mixture of bravado, youthful ignorance, and (mostly) divinely inspired confidence, David spoke up. He had experience with network intrusion detection and protecting against viruses. In the past year, he’d even created his own solution for the infamous LionAndBear exploit that had killed off many small businesses.
With no-one else offering a solution, David’s plan to tackle Goliath was taken to the CEO.
With no other option available and the pressing need to make a decision, the CEO accepted David’s offer to take on Goliath. If the worst happened, the CEO now had someone to blame and take the pressure off him. Wanting David to stand the best chance, the CEO gave David a top of the range computer and access to all the latest security software on the market. David didn’t want or need these. He hadn’t used them before and didn’t know how to use them effectively.
David stuck with the five tools he personally selected and knew thoroughly, having molded each for his own use. While each seemed inconsequential on their own, in David’s expert hands, they were weapons.
After failing to accept the Philistine offer, everyone at SaulSoft prepared for Goliath.
Davis sat in his chair, stretched his hands to the sky, cracked his knuckles, then leaned forward, his hands automatically falling into position over the keys while his eyes unblinking at the visualization on the monitor before him.
A small spike on the graph on the screen and everyone watching over David’s shoulder instantly knew what it meant. But David didn’t flinch.
A second spike, yet David remained motionless. Behind him, a light murmuring broke the silence.
In the terminal window in the top right of David’s screen, some text appeared. All in capitals and red in color, it prompted David to react. He typed a short command, hit the enter key, and paused again. Behind him, someone spoke up. “Why aren’t you doing anything? Attack it! Stop it! Destroy it!”
“I am doing something,” David replied. “I’m watching and seeing how it’s going to attack. This is the favored company of a remarkable God. He’s working through me and will do so in remarkable ways. This won’t be solved with brute force actions anyone can take.”
Someone standing near the back was about to say how they weren’t comfortable mentioning religion in the workplace but realized this wasn’t a good time to speak up.
David’s fingers were moving over the keys again. Those watching strained to see what was on the screen as the commands scrolled past. But in less than a minute, he paused again. “What’s happening?” “What have you done?” The longer David sat motionlessly; the more people asked questions. David turned, looked around the room, and then he spoke. “Goliath is gone. It cannot harm anyone again.” “But how?” “Are you sure?” David responded. “We can do a full debrief and retrospective later, but it’s definitely dead. It was too sophisticated and overly tuned for direct attacks. I suspect the original ML algorithm it was based on was overly fitted to a test set of complex attack vectors and countermeasures. It wasn’t prepared for something so relatively straight forward. I stopped it before it got close to anywhere it could do damage.”
As the sense of disbelief passed, a cheer went up in the room. Then questions. “How do we respond?” “Should we retaliate?”
But David already had it covered. Once he had stopped Goliath, he used the connection Goliath had to phone home to send an attack of his own devising that was capable of stopping all their computers dead and unable to be rebooted.
So SaulSoft was saved. With Philistine Inc. unable to use any of their computers, they couldn’t operate. An aggressive marketing promotion from SaulSoft saw them pick up many of Philistine Inc.’s frustrated customers. In only a short time, Philistine Inc. had gone out of business, leaving SaulSoft the victors in the battle.
Just like the Bible, this wasn't written to be kept to yourself.
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