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March 31, 2014

Man taken hostage in the cloud

‘Information freedom fighters’ are behind the abduction.

By Ben Sullivan

A man has been abducted by self-confessed ‘information freedom fighters’ and placed in the cloud, from which experts say chances of escape or rescue now seem minimal.

Harry Wenston, a senior IT security executive from London, was abducted last night from his temporary bed in a Canary Wharf office, and placed behind 256-bit encryption.

The attackers broke into the offices at around midnight, where it is thought a struggle broke out resulting in Wenston being placed in the cloud indefinitely. Emergency services were alerted after digital copies of Wenston started appearing in his family’s cloud storage accounts.

A short video was then posted to Youtube, which showed a group of two men and two women, all wearing ominous blacked-out versions of Google Glass.

A rolling LED sign behind them said that the group was from the Information Freedom Fighters, a splinter organisation that evolved from Edward Snowden’s cult followers.

The group of four said no words, with all the information they wanted to get across being transmitted via the medium of the rolling LED banner. The message said that Wenston will be kept in the cloud until the group’s demands are met. However, there were no demands displayed on the sign.

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Detective McCain, of the London Computing Police unit, told CBR: "It was like, you know, when you’re on the Overground going to Dalston Junction and you’re continuously watching that little scrolling LED sign with all the stops on, in case your stop isn’t there and you have to get off."

"But in all honesty, I think they abducted him because of the cloud. Everyone’s using it now and it just seems like the perfect crime to commit, you know, putting someone actually inside the cloud."

Motives for Wenston’s abduction were still unclear to the special computing police unit as of this morning, but experts warn this could be the start of a very worrying trend.

"It’s obvious that these attackers see the cloud as some kind of deal breaker," said security expert Raymond Montpellier.

"We will no doubt hear from the abductors very soon but, for now, there is a small chance of rescuing the victim.

"He is behind a very tough 256-bit encryption, which as we all know, is double that of 128-bit encryption – so we’re looking at days, possibly weeks, before we can get into the cloud and get Wenston out."

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