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Worst Case Szenarios

The Incident – 2020

Paketdrohne

You can only hear the buzz because the window is opened a gap. It sounds like a wasp swarm which comes closer to the house with their stings ahead.
Bernhard Biom is jumping of the couch with a big smirk on his face “SALLY”, turn off the tv, he shouts and the flickering picture disappears immediately, while being already half way to the door. Yet useful, such an invisible digital assistant.

Bernhard tear opens the door and yes, there it is! A small packet, exactly like ordered a few hours ago. The delivery drone with its insect sound already disappears in the sky. A wind gust hits Bernhard, while he moves down. Drums!
There is no need for him to turn around because he already knows, that the door has fallen into the lock. He records a queasy feeling for a tiny moment. His brain stars to run the panic program. Call the lock and key service, but how without a smartphone, the new one was just delivered but the sim card is located inside thus-

Mann hält Smartphone in der Hand, drum herum eine Art Zielsucher

Then he has to laugh about himself. He traps the packet under his arm, reaches with the empty right hand for the door knob for the authentication and pushes the door open while buzzing. You can’t get rid of old habits by now.

He rips the packet open back at the couch and the polished black smartphone falls into his hands. Brand “IT-waSA 3IG MIS-T4Ke Ltd.“ – five stars in almost all rankings. Ultrathin design, elegant style and the best: It is as high tech, as it looks like. He starts quickly to scan the finger print and goes further with his iris and his face.

The camera and the sensors of the smartphone know him better now, then his tightest friends. Later he will remember he frowned by the thought, as he has already guessed something. Yet he pushes the musing aside. He decides to inspect a few of the wicked gimmicks instead.

His biometric data has already found its way to “IT-waSA 3IG MIS-T4Ke Ltd.“ at this moment, it has been assorted neatly clean and was saved. Stored for storage like every other product, which can be sold later.
What should they already do with it? is the last thought, which Bernhard and thousands of other customers have left for their own data.
The answer could be harmless.
Or a catastrophe …

Make your decision now!

Kachel mit Aufschrift "
Kachel mit Aufschrift "
Kachel mit Aufschrift "
Mann sitzt auf einem niedrigen Podest und hat eine Denker-Pose eingenommen
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Privat Case

Worst Case Scenarios
Animation einer Autobahn mit Fahrzeugen die ein Funksignal angedeutet haben.

„I still don’t have a good feeling with this. “With

slim lips examine Amelie the price tag on the car’s windshield.
Bernhard certainly is of the mind that car is almost an insult for the vehicle. You don’t call your neighbour Homo Erectus and you don’t call the MIND Z4 just a car. It is the next stage of evolution.
Bernhard lays his hands soothing at the shoulder of his wife. “I do want to buy it because I don’t have a good feeling with the junker which stand around at ours” he says. “I’m sleeping bad when I think of you bringing Julia to nursery school with it every day.” She shakes her head without letting her distrustful sight of the steel grey wheel rims. “I just don’t want to leave the control to this thing. Why must everything become engineered as of late? The humans drive by themselves since the damn car has been invented.”

“And how often have accidents happened?” asks Bernhard and puts his arm completely around her now. “I know that you are driving carefully. But even you can only react as fast, as the human body enables it. This technic is a … don’t know, millionfold faster? There won’t happen such things as car accidents in the future.”

“They also said that the titanic can’t sink.”
Bernhard places his finger under her chin while he sighs and lifts her face so that she has to look at him. “I promise to you” he explains celebratory, “that this car will not collide with an iceberg.”

“You are impossible.” The laugh is unable to eject her sorrows from her face but it is a beginning.
Amelie cottoned up with everything, what Bernhard brought home of unnecessary odds and ends as she says, in the end. She has the same smart phone as him meanwhile and the manual remote, which she insisted to lays unused on the dresser since weeks. The voice control works also when you need your hands at the moment to keep Julia away from the chocolate. It will develop the same with the MIND Z4. Amelie may have difficulties to adjust to the additional relaxation for the first few weeks – until the day when she enjoys the amenity of the technic so naturally as todays discussion has never existed.
“What do you mean” asks Bernhard. “Do we buy it?”
Amelie purses her lips. “No icebergs?”
“No icebergs. Promised.”

Umriss eines Smartphones mit einem KFZ und einem Ladebalken auf dem Display. Links und rechts davon Wlan Signal Symbole

“And she really wasn’t nervous?” asks Bernhard. He lingers the gateway down to the brand-new MIND, with Amelie aside. It is Julia’s first day at the nursery school and Bernhard came extra early from work to surprise her and to appear together with her mother for her pick up.
“Well, she sure was a bit. But more of a good kind.” She shrugs her shoulders and smiles. “I hoped for a bit more wrench, to be honest. She just run to the others to play instead. Am I very selfish?”
“And how” says Bernhard. “A monster in human shape.”
He is too slowly to yield her pat against the back of his head. Amelie was not able to escape him nevertheless, as he puts his arms around her and her laugh chokes by his chest.
Bernhard selects the MIND at his central key app on his smart phone. The doors unlock with a quiet click, as the sensor recognises his thumb. That a burglary is impossible with stolen keys is just another advantage, for which the purchase has already paid off.
Arriving the MIND, Amelie settles at the front seat. Bernhard injects the seatbelt and as it recognises his heartbeat, the vehicle starts – visible just trough the light up of the displays because the MIND is whispering quiet.

Auto Head-up Display

Bernhard searches for the nursery school on his smart phone and instructs the car then per app to choose the suitable route. It is a drive of just fifteen minutes but not to take care of anything has its benefits anyway.
Bernhard leans over to Amelie and kisses her. She smiles at him surprised. “Wherefore was this one?” “For nothing” he says and smirks. “Just because I can.” The MIND slides meanwhile with the initialised 90 km/h over across the country road.
“Actually” he says a while later “we could go eat outside tonight. In honour of the occasion. And Julia loves the spaghetti at Ricardo’s.”

“Don’t push it to Julia. You are the one loving the spaghetti.” She smirks aware to him.
“Caught.” He leans again over to her. As he wants to kiss her, something touches his knee. A short and fast movement and he knows for the split of a second, that it was the wheel.  Then car spins around. He reaches out his arm instinctively, wants to hold on to something, hears Amelie gasping. Before he is able to close his eyes, it gets dark.

surgeons-looking-down

The blips are so regular that they should ease him. Instead they remind him to the countless boring medical series, which he and Amelie find so ridiculous. Blip. Blip. Blip.

His head feels like after a cold, dull and numb. Bernhard blinks. The light is cold and oddly lifeless.

“Dr Meinold I think he awakens.”

Bernhard moans. “Calm down” says a young female voice. “Take some time.” And then to another direction: “Doctor?”

A man with grey temporals and thin glasses stands next to him shortly afterwards. “Mr Biom nice to have you with us again. I’m Dr Meinold. How are you?”

“Fine.” He shakes his head. “I don’t know.” The memories come back slowly and piece by piece, second by second. Sun. Amelie, spaghetti, the wheel. Blackness.

Then the truth crashes together over him. “What has happened?” He tries to prop up with his elbows but a nurse holds him back to the pillows. “Where is my wife’”

“You two had an accident” explains the doctor nagging slowly. His finger run steadfast over the clipboard in his hand. “The police would like to talk to you over the circumstances, we informed the responsible officers.”

“Where is my wife” repeats Bernhard without trying to understand let alone consider the words of the doctor. “Where is she? Where is Amelie? She was with me. Amelie was with me!”

Dr Meinold sits down next to him at the edge of the bed and folds his hands. The anxiety captures Bernhard freezing cold.
“Your wife was caught worse than you” says Dr Meinold with experienced objectivity which may should hide his tension. It is not working. “We had to put her in an artificial coma. I’m very sorry. She is alive but we don’t know if she will ever awake.

What the doctor says afterwards, is just a distant swoosh in Bernhard’s ears. The numbness around his head increases until he hardly notices what is happening around him. He hears himself answering the questions of the police, hears their explanations but nothing of it reaches him.

Even as he learns about the extent of the nightmare, they are only hollow words in Bernhard’s ears.

Stolen or sold data of his smart phone, this is how the MIND has been entrapped, the unsinkable entrapped. But not only alone Bernhard is affected. In the same moment like his car failed thousands of MINDs.

A data burglary of the superlative must be behind it. “We can not say, how it came thereto at the moment. The investigation is running, but we are not allowed to release further information to the victims.”

Instead the police officers explained unquestioned to him, that hundreds of people have been killed and many more have been injured. On the streets was bare chaos for nearly two days. The news is still not talking about something different, until further notice, self-driving cars have been banished from the streets.

The backgrounds are unsure says one of the officers. It may have been a malicious act, maybe a burglary of the MIND should have been enabled and while entering the system more damage has been caused then intended. Maybe it was just some teenagers, who wanted to checkout their limits. “They threw stones from motorway bridges in the past without a reason. Today they make the same on technical level.” Even an assault can’t be excluded.

Binäre Zahlen und komplexe Linien und Zeichen, im Hintergrund eine Stadt aus der Vogelperspektive

Anything has suddenly brought thousands of vehicles on open road to change the direction and drive undamped into the oncoming traffic, rifts or against trees. This happened about a week ago.

About a week ago has Amelie brought Julia to the nursery school for the first time. About a week ago they were looking forward to spaghetti.

Bernhard tries to not think of anything but he is not succeeding. He sees Amelie and himself, how they appear at the nursery school and Julia is running towards them laughing. It smells like Italian food.

And then he sees, like it really happened although he wasn’t there. He sees how the children are picked up one after another and the playroom gets emptier until no one is left. He sees Julia how she walks hesitant to the nursery-school teacher. “When comes mommy?”

Straßen mit Datenlinien
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Business Case

Worst Case Scenarios
Steuerzentrale mit zwei Arbeitsplätzen und Monitoren im Tisch versenkt

As the countless numbers on screen get blurred, Bernhard rubs his eyes with the ball of the thumb and blinks. Working overtime has become regularity since he snatched the position as an executive process engineer at LifeOptimum PHARMA. He and Christian are the last ones in the office and Bernhard is not surprised as his colleague also stretches and gets up. “Closing time”, he says and puts on his jacket. “Are you still staying?”
Bernhard looks to him over his shoulder. “Just half an hour or so. I have to render some mails.” It becomes clear to Bernhard, actually they aren’t colleagues any more. He still hasn’t eased into the thought, that he is Christians’ supervisor now and Christian apparently feels the same.
“I really don’t want to change with you.” Christian pats him amicable on the back. “I don’t know, how you do it, with a wife and two children. Alina and I are going to be first parents in only a few weeks and I find it already exhausting by now.”
Bernhard smiles tired. “It will arise from time.” “Sure. I don’t want to complain. I’m really happy to have a safe job and don’t have to be worried about money.” He smirks. “However I’m looking forward now to Alina’s famous Lasagna and the television.”
“Then come home safe!”
“Sure. And you don’t work for too long. Not that you fall asleep and your face hits the touchpad. At the end, you delete the development data or send it to the customers or so.”

Bernhard laughs rough. “Exactly and then we have to close down and have a lot of spare time. Doesn’t sound so bad.”
“This will be a catastrophe”, says Christian, but he also has to laugh. “I can already see the headline: silliness of the executive technician destroys company worth billions – hundreds unemployed.”
Bernhard tries to hit Christian in the side with the elbow, but misses him. “See that you come outside of here.”
“Aye, boss!” shouts Christian as he leaves the door.
The light of the monitor shimmers on the silver desks and the therein inserted touch surface. Due to safety reasons it is not adequate anymore to authenticate just with a fingerprint – with every touch of an employee, the identity has to be confirmed new instead. Bernhard has, as one of a few the access to all data. Thanks to the new safety system, he doesn’t has to login with the password every time, but rather the system checks his rights, yet he requests the data.
Bernhard tries hard, to check a few mails for a while. But he has to accept soon with blazing eyes, that it doesn’t make sense anymore. He safes the current status of his work and is thank full to close the door behind him. It locks immediately with a calming click.

Industrieanlage

Bernhard makes a detour to the manufacturing plant anyway on his way outside. The tiredness lets him blink so often, that it is difficult for him to leave his eyes open for the identification of the retina. Sometimes he wishes the old-fashioned keys back. There is still a busy buzz and ticktack and Susanne, who has worked late shift is turning down the first machines. “Has the temperature control unit in C3 been repaired?” he asks. Susanne nods and moves her glasses a bit up. She lifts her brow, like her finger shifted it also at the same moment. “I’m working here for more than thirty years Bernhard. Of course it is working again.” Bernhard is examining Susanne’s grey hair and the ironic laugh lines a bit worried. Sometimes he forgets, that she is not the youngest anymore, due to her gruff kind. “Didn’t you want to step down?” Actually she announced, that she wouldn’t take over late shifts anymore.
“From next month then” she says and winks. “If I can cut loose. Believe me, it will be hard, to work less, when you are used to it.”
Bernhard waits for the machines to become quiet and accompanies Susanne on their way outside. “I like to come here” she says while looking to the operational building.
“Still.”
The tiredness takes Bernhard finally over in the car. He is glad, that the times, when drivers weren’t allowed to close the eyes are over.

Bernhard blinks against the light. Unpleasantly bright. It shouldn’t be bright in his bedroom.
With his smartphone in his hand he sits straight in bed in the next moment. 9:15 illuminates on to him from the display. Damn! He must have forgotten to set an alarm.
Then he reads, what stands under the time. 12 missed calls.
He scrolls down the list quickly. Every call came from LifeOptimum, every few minutes since today morning, 7 o’clock.

Industrieunfall mit zwei Feuerwehrmännern in Chemieschutzanzügen

He moans internal. This is never a good sign.
Somebody probably build some crap and he has to straighten it. It makes fun to be boss.
He dresses quickly, takes the coffee into the car and gets on his way. When he drives to the parking area, he notices the many people that gathered in front of the door. He backs out of the car with a bad feeling, detects Christian in the group and walks to him in hurry.
“Hey, what is going on here? Have you all forgotten to bring your fingertips for the sensor this morning?” he asks in pretended good tempered sound and puts his hands up. Then he sees Christians face. He is as white as chalk.
„This is not funny.“ He stares at Bernhard. „The sensor hasn’t worked this morning. By none of us. He just hasn’t recognized us. „Then it has to be broken. Have you already called the responsible security company?”
“You don’t understand this. This isn’t everything.“
Bernhard let’s his view wander through the group. He can see the shock in every ones face.
He turns to Christian slowly. “What happened?” he asks, as he understands the gravity of the situation.
“No clue. We just hear broken bits” says Christian and runs his hand through his hair. Obviously he does this already the whole morning because his hair sticks out roundly. “They say something has been stolen. Someone broke in.” “Broken in?” Bernhard laughs but even it sounds in his own ears anxious. “How should that has been happened? We have more biometric latching mechanisms than I can count. Fingerprint, retina scans, facial recognition …” Christian shrugs his shoulders but doesn’t speak anymore.

Mann sitzt einer unkenntlichen Person gegenüber und hat die Finger verschränkt.

Later Bernhard sits vis-á-vis to a policewoman with a stringent face. It still isn’t everything clear, she says, but the investigations are running. The stolen data is apparently transferred to several competitors. The smallest loss was, that the facilities worth billions have been destroyed. “How were the people able to enter the production site?” Bernhard feels oddly numb. “And how to the data?”
“This is the reason, why we have to talk to you. Somebody was able to insert the server with your login data.” Technically he should have been shocked, but instead he smiles nervously. Everything sounds to bizarre to be true. “But I wasn’t there. I haven’t stolen anything.” A scared smile escapes him. “Ich have a great job here, I got a promotion! Why should I steel data? Why should I want to destroy the company?”
“We already checked your data” ensures the policewoman. She doesn’t smile. “We know, that you drove home around 11 pm and came back this morning. It was your data, but it wasn’t you. You are not here as a suspect.”
“How do you mean that?”
“Before the data has been abstracted from LifeOptimum your data was stolen. Probably from a smart phone, tablet or similar.”
“No, no, this can’t be” he says and pulls his smart phone out of his pocket. “Have this for years. It is secured biometric.”’
“Show it to me.” The policewoman takes the smart phone with pointed finge3rs. “ITwa5 A 31G MI5T4Ke Ltd. & CIO K4G?“
Bernhard nods silent.
“Damn.”
“What is happening?”
“We investigate in this case for weeks. The company has sold customers data to third parties frequently. We weren’t able to find out who was affected in detail.” She falls silent abrupt. “I am not allowed to tell you this, while the investigation is still running.”

What?” A wave of panic and anger overruns Bernhard, as he stares at the smart phone on the table. “Then … it is my fault?”
Christian ensures him later that he is not miffed about it. “This could have happened to everyone.” But the resignation in his eyes hurts more, as allegation would have. Christian and Aline welcome their first child next week – and Christian is unemployed.
Susanne waves his apologies aside with trembling hand. Suddenly she appears as old, as she is. “I just thought I would retire here.” Her smile looks like as she would intensely try to retention her tears. “Who is going to take someone my age?”

Fingerabdruck auf einer Weltkugel, im Hintergrund einige technische Linien

Bernhard is driving ahead at LifeOptimum again two weeks later. He comes back here daily without knowing why, just out of habit. He sits in his car for hours, starring at the building and waiting, that the lights are going on or someone comes out to smoke. Bernhard stays alone.
His smart phone lays on the car dashboard, the new one, which he hardly dares to touch. He has informed himself how to secure it better. A bit to late, he thinks and closes his hand to a fist.
Executive technician destroys company worth millions.

Bildschirm mit Fingerabdruck links und Zahlen und "Access Granted" Schriftzug rechts
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Public Case

Worst Case Scenarios
Güterzüge auf einem Rangierbahnhof von oben

A few flowers wither away on the desk and the chairs are padded in a suitable orange colour. In front of Bernhard is a coffee and a plate with cookies from the cheap bulk pack.
All of this may should create an atmosphere of trust or kindness but can’t delude over the circumstances of the situation. An interrogation at the police station is just not the moment for relaxation even though the officers are trying to be as considerate as possible. Least of all on this day.
“Also, Mr Biom.” The policewoman moves her thick edged glasses up and looks at him with a piercing glance. “We know that it must also be a difficult situation for you. Therefore, we are thankful that you agreed to answer some questions. You don’t have relatives or friends amongst the victims, if my colleague has informed me right?”
A fly buzzes behind Bernhard and he must bear down the impulse to look after it behind him. He shakes his head. “No, only colleagues. No family.”
“Of course.” The policewoman purses her lips and nods. “It would have been a miracle if you hadn’t known some of the victims occupational.”
It is quiet for a moment, the fly settled down somewhere else. Bernhard says nothing.
“Good. I know you already have been interrogated. But could you explain me once again just rough, wherein your work persists? I thought the infrastructure is completely engineered and managed through computers meanwhile. Wasn’t it this, what has made this terrible … incident enabled?
Bernhard moves his mouth. Of course, there are just a few officers specialised on this sector. It seems like the justice hasn’t noticed yet, that the average criminal doesn’t use stocking masks for camouflage and pistols for a long time.

This is the reason why the woman has no clue of the collaboration of human and technique. It is obvious, that no one without special training executes the interrogation. They have more urgent things to do.
“I’m directly employed at the train company” he explains, “and I have coordinative tasks. Regularly special programs regulate the traffic of the trains. Starting with the speed to the switch stand to the point of the shunt. But it rarely runs according to schedule.” “The programs thus can’t react to everything?” “Even this is in progress, in a few years the majority of the positions should be depleted. But the conversion occurs slowly. This is the reason, why some trains are still occupied by engine drivers. It still needs people.” Bernhard puts his hands up explainable. “Something often changes spontaneous. Problems often appear, when it comes to delays. One rail is still engaged, although another train was already intended for it.”
The officer pushes the plate with the cookies a bit nearer to Bernhard as she was frightened that he oversaw it. She repeats, “coordination tasks”. “You step in, when the scheduled process is disturbed.”
“Usually through people”, he says. “The boarding and deboarding takes longer than planned, someone throws oneself on the rails. Sometimes it’s the weathers fault.”
“Was there on the respective day such a case when you had to step in?”
“Of course, I have to deal with such things always.”
“Was anything else extraordinary?”

Zug der nahezu unerkennbar durchs Bild rauscht in Gelbd Orange Tönen

There was a smell of coffee in the small train station house. Bernhard has let his eyes wander over the different monitors, which took most of the wall area. The numbers on them changed the whole time, between stood cryptic letter orders. Meanwhile Bernhard recognises a pleasant clarity. When he started working here, the information about the railway system seemed like a foreign language to him. He can read them like the daily news today.
He goes through the display and checks their accuracy one after another. He logged from the manual access out in the sector B as the disturbance in operation has been corrected. He took his smart phone then and scrolled through the last massages of the family group. Julia has sent some pictures from the tent camp. He looked through them with a smile and texted Amelie then, that he would take over the late shift on Friday.

“No. There was no advanced warning if you mean this. Someone who accomplishes to gets into the system will pay attention to stay unremarkable. I still can’t imagine, how it could happen at all. Either there is someone behind it, who is a genius on one’s area or there are federates inside of our company. Everything is secured biometric and without the access right nobody has authorisation to influence the traffic.”
The officer nods, but Bernhard can see that she is hardly listening to him. “So, it was a normal work day. When did you recognise that something isn’t right?”
A shiver runs over Bernhard. Like every time when he thinks about it. He forces himself to keep a calm sound. “Only when it was to late. Maybe three or four seconds before it happened.”

Three or four seconds. It was just enough time to wrap Bernhard with panic. The changing displays and language which he suddenly can’t read anymore, when he nevertheless realised what was written there on the familiar monitors.

Steuerstand Bahn

He then felt it before he heard it. A distant shake whose destructive force pushed from the distance of the train station.
A strike, an ear-piercing crunch, which wasn’t similar to anything what he has heard before. And it didn’t end. The screaming of bending and breaking metal lasts and Bernhard pressed his hands on his ears. He was sitting there for long, maybe minutes. When he has then let his hands fall he was able to hear the panic screams from the platform.

“What exactly happened at the train station where you were working?”
“Not at the train station.” Bernhard was starring at the bald wall behind the officer. “In front of it. A train was currently moving out of the train station. An ICE should draw in on the adjacent track. This was running according to schedule, I did not have to correct anything. I wasn’t even logged in. But instead of the adjacent track the ICE pulled in on the engaged rail in fact with clearly more than hundred kilometres per hour. The collision occurred about seven hundred meters distant of the train station.”
The policewoman releases him a bit later. “I thank you for your conversation. I don’t think we have to bother you again.”
„Thank you.” He at least meant this honest.
Bernhard has made this declaration already a bunch of times and by now it sounds hollow in his own ears. Even the news which no one can escape for one week are only meaningless words. More than five hundred dead people at the disaster which he witnessed, in addition another five hundred injured, most of them badly. Under other circumstance Bernhard would have asked himself why exactly he had to be there on this day.
But this was just the beginning.

Zwei Rauchschwaden steigen über Industriegebiet auf

On the short way to his MIND one street further the newspapers and advertising screens are screaming it to him from all sides.

Number of dead people by nationwide train disaster is rising to ten thousand.

Bernhard lowers his view to the pavement. A dirty smeared newspaper is laying distributed over half of the way. More and more hints: It was an act of terrorism.

The until now unknown offenders intruded the system of the train company and have taken over the control of trains and switch points of twenty-three spots at the same time.

Over a screen at the right side of Bernhard are pictures of a wagon which flung off the rails due to far too much speed, flickering. An amateur live recording of a collision, filmed from a bridge follows afterwards. The trains are shifted out of the rails by the crash, push into each other, break as easy as toy railways.
The screen is mute but Bernhard hears the echo screaming in his memory.

The shrill of the doorbell lets Bernhard startle. Amelie and the children are at a birthday she hadn’t any objections for once as he wanted to stay at home. “I understand if you need to rest, to process it. Take the time you need.”

Bernhard pulls his smart phone and watches the cameras installed outdoor to see who is disturbing him on a Saturday afternoon. He frowns when he sees the two officers in uniform. He unlocks the door with the sensor of his smartphone even before he gets up.

He says, “your colleague told me that you have every information which you need from me” a moment later while they were sitting at the kitchen table. “I beared witness three times.” The older officer nods. “We don’t have any further questions to you as far as the course of events is concerned.” The other one is younger, maybe in his thirties, seems more open-minded.

“We have as far as possible knowledge about how the offenders were able to manipulate the systems. They have taken possession of foreign biometric data of different employees with appropriate access authorisation.”

“What? How do you mean this?”

“We are sorry Mr Biom. We are here to confiscate all devices which possibly could have saved biometric data from you. Smart phones, tablets, everything like this.”

Bernhard first looks to him, then to his colleague bewildered. “Wait. What?”

The older leans his elbows on the table deliberate. “Several employees of the train establishment have become victims of a data theft which we have not experienced in this extent. The data has probably been stolen from one company which is saving them as a matter of routine. We assume it’s the company ITwa5 A 31G MI5T4Ke Ltd. & CIO K4G. Does this tell you something?”

Smartphone mit Bild von gescanntem Fingerabdruck in einer Hand

Bernhard embraces his smart phone in his pocket instinctively. He impulse of hiding it from the officers breaks over him for a moment. He then lays it in front of them on the table. His hands shake.

The young policeman exchanges a view with his colleague. His view is sad when he looks at Bernhard. “I’m very sorry Mr Biom. Please don’t accuse yourself.”

No, thinks Bernhard and remembers his testimonies. Nothing extraordinary happened. There was no advanced warning.

Nachtsichtaufnahme einer Pupille
Private
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Privat Case

Worst Case Scenarios
Animation einer Autobahn mit Fahrzeugen die ein Funksignal angedeutet haben.

„I still don’t have a good feeling with this. “With

slim lips examine Amelie the price tag on the car’s windshield.
Bernhard certainly is of the mind that car is almost an insult for the vehicle. You don’t call your neighbour Homo Erectus and you don’t call the MIND Z4 just a car. It is the next stage of evolution.
Bernhard lays his hands soothing at the shoulder of his wife. “I do want to buy it because I don’t have a good feeling with the junker which stand around at ours” he says. “I’m sleeping bad when I think of you bringing Julia to nursery school with it every day.” She shakes her head without letting her distrustful sight of the steel grey wheel rims. “I just don’t want to leave the control to this thing. Why must everything become engineered as of late? The humans drive by themselves since the damn car has been invented.”

“And how often have accidents happened?” asks Bernhard and puts his arm completely around her now. “I know that you are driving carefully. But even you can only react as fast, as the human body enables it. This technic is a … don’t know, millionfold faster? There won’t happen such things as car accidents in the future.”

“They also said that the titanic can’t sink.”
Bernhard places his finger under her chin while he sighs and lifts her face so that she has to look at him. “I promise to you” he explains celebratory, “that this car will not collide with an iceberg.”

“You are impossible.” The laugh is unable to eject her sorrows from her face but it is a beginning.
Amelie cottoned up with everything, what Bernhard brought home of unnecessary odds and ends as she says, in the end. She has the same smart phone as him meanwhile and the manual remote, which she insisted to lays unused on the dresser since weeks. The voice control works also when you need your hands at the moment to keep Julia away from the chocolate. It will develop the same with the MIND Z4. Amelie may have difficulties to adjust to the additional relaxation for the first few weeks – until the day when she enjoys the amenity of the technic so naturally as todays discussion has never existed.
“What do you mean” asks Bernhard. “Do we buy it?”
Amelie purses her lips. “No icebergs?”
“No icebergs. Promised.”

Umriss eines Smartphones mit einem KFZ und einem Ladebalken auf dem Display. Links und rechts davon Wlan Signal Symbole

“And she really wasn’t nervous?” asks Bernhard. He lingers the gateway down to the brand-new MIND, with Amelie aside. It is Julia’s first day at the nursery school and Bernhard came extra early from work to surprise her and to appear together with her mother for her pick up.
“Well, she sure was a bit. But more of a good kind.” She shrugs her shoulders and smiles. “I hoped for a bit more wrench, to be honest. She just run to the others to play instead. Am I very selfish?”
“And how” says Bernhard. “A monster in human shape.”
He is too slowly to yield her pat against the back of his head. Amelie was not able to escape him nevertheless, as he puts his arms around her and her laugh chokes by his chest.
Bernhard selects the MIND at his central key app on his smart phone. The doors unlock with a quiet click, as the sensor recognises his thumb. That a burglary is impossible with stolen keys is just another advantage, for which the purchase has already paid off.
Arriving the MIND, Amelie settles at the front seat. Bernhard injects the seatbelt and as it recognises his heartbeat, the vehicle starts – visible just trough the light up of the displays because the MIND is whispering quiet.

Auto Head-up Display

Bernhard searches for the nursery school on his smart phone and instructs the car then per app to choose the suitable route. It is a drive of just fifteen minutes but not to take care of anything has its benefits anyway.
Bernhard leans over to Amelie and kisses her. She smiles at him surprised. “Wherefore was this one?” “For nothing” he says and smirks. “Just because I can.” The MIND slides meanwhile with the initialised 90 km/h over across the country road.
“Actually” he says a while later “we could go eat outside tonight. In honour of the occasion. And Julia loves the spaghetti at Ricardo’s.”

“Don’t push it to Julia. You are the one loving the spaghetti.” She smirks aware to him.
“Caught.” He leans again over to her. As he wants to kiss her, something touches his knee. A short and fast movement and he knows for the split of a second, that it was the wheel.  Then car spins around. He reaches out his arm instinctively, wants to hold on to something, hears Amelie gasping. Before he is able to close his eyes, it gets dark.

surgeons-looking-down

The blips are so regular that they should ease him. Instead they remind him to the countless boring medical series, which he and Amelie find so ridiculous. Blip. Blip. Blip.

His head feels like after a cold, dull and numb. Bernhard blinks. The light is cold and oddly lifeless.

“Dr Meinold I think he awakens.”

Bernhard moans. “Calm down” says a young female voice. “Take some time.” And then to another direction: “Doctor?”

A man with grey temporals and thin glasses stands next to him shortly afterwards. “Mr Biom nice to have you with us again. I’m Dr Meinold. How are you?”

“Fine.” He shakes his head. “I don’t know.” The memories come back slowly and piece by piece, second by second. Sun. Amelie, spaghetti, the wheel. Blackness.

Then the truth crashes together over him. “What has happened?” He tries to prop up with his elbows but a nurse holds him back to the pillows. “Where is my wife’”

“You two had an accident” explains the doctor nagging slowly. His finger run steadfast over the clipboard in his hand. “The police would like to talk to you over the circumstances, we informed the responsible officers.”

“Where is my wife” repeats Bernhard without trying to understand let alone consider the words of the doctor. “Where is she? Where is Amelie? She was with me. Amelie was with me!”

Dr Meinold sits down next to him at the edge of the bed and folds his hands. The anxiety captures Bernhard freezing cold.
“Your wife was caught worse than you” says Dr Meinold with experienced objectivity which may should hide his tension. It is not working. “We had to put her in an artificial coma. I’m very sorry. She is alive but we don’t know if she will ever awake.

What the doctor says afterwards, is just a distant swoosh in Bernhard’s ears. The numbness around his head increases until he hardly notices what is happening around him. He hears himself answering the questions of the police, hears their explanations but nothing of it reaches him.

Even as he learns about the extent of the nightmare, they are only hollow words in Bernhard’s ears.

Stolen or sold data of his smart phone, this is how the MIND has been entrapped, the unsinkable entrapped. But not only alone Bernhard is affected. In the same moment like his car failed thousands of MINDs.

A data burglary of the superlative must be behind it. “We can not say, how it came thereto at the moment. The investigation is running, but we are not allowed to release further information to the victims.”

Instead the police officers explained unquestioned to him, that hundreds of people have been killed and many more have been injured. On the streets was bare chaos for nearly two days. The news is still not talking about something different, until further notice, self-driving cars have been banished from the streets.

The backgrounds are unsure says one of the officers. It may have been a malicious act, maybe a burglary of the MIND should have been enabled and while entering the system more damage has been caused then intended. Maybe it was just some teenagers, who wanted to checkout their limits. “They threw stones from motorway bridges in the past without a reason. Today they make the same on technical level.” Even an assault can’t be excluded.

Binäre Zahlen und komplexe Linien und Zeichen, im Hintergrund eine Stadt aus der Vogelperspektive

Anything has suddenly brought thousands of vehicles on open road to change the direction and drive undamped into the oncoming traffic, rifts or against trees. This happened about a week ago.

About a week ago has Amelie brought Julia to the nursery school for the first time. About a week ago they were looking forward to spaghetti.

Bernhard tries to not think of anything but he is not succeeding. He sees Amelie and himself, how they appear at the nursery school and Julia is running towards them laughing. It smells like Italian food.

And then he sees, like it really happened although he wasn’t there. He sees how the children are picked up one after another and the playroom gets emptier until no one is left. He sees Julia how she walks hesitant to the nursery-school teacher. “When comes mommy?”

Straßen mit Datenlinien
Business
null

Business Case

Worst Case Scenarios
Steuerzentrale mit zwei Arbeitsplätzen und Monitoren im Tisch versenkt

As the countless numbers on screen get blurred, Bernhard rubs his eyes with the ball of the thumb and blinks. Working overtime has become regularity since he snatched the position as an executive process engineer at LifeOptimum PHARMA. He and Christian are the last ones in the office and Bernhard is not surprised as his colleague also stretches and gets up. “Closing time”, he says and puts on his jacket. “Are you still staying?”
Bernhard looks to him over his shoulder. “Just half an hour or so. I have to render some mails.” It becomes clear to Bernhard, actually they aren’t colleagues any more. He still hasn’t eased into the thought, that he is Christians’ supervisor now and Christian apparently feels the same.
“I really don’t want to change with you.” Christian pats him amicable on the back. “I don’t know, how you do it, with a wife and two children. Alina and I are going to be first parents in only a few weeks and I find it already exhausting by now.”
Bernhard smiles tired. “It will arise from time.” “Sure. I don’t want to complain. I’m really happy to have a safe job and don’t have to be worried about money.” He smirks. “However I’m looking forward now to Alina’s famous Lasagna and the television.”
“Then come home safe!”
“Sure. And you don’t work for too long. Not that you fall asleep and your face hits the touchpad. At the end, you delete the development data or send it to the customers or so.”

Bernhard laughs rough. “Exactly and then we have to close down and have a lot of spare time. Doesn’t sound so bad.”
“This will be a catastrophe”, says Christian, but he also has to laugh. “I can already see the headline: silliness of the executive technician destroys company worth billions – hundreds unemployed.”
Bernhard tries to hit Christian in the side with the elbow, but misses him. “See that you come outside of here.”
“Aye, boss!” shouts Christian as he leaves the door.
The light of the monitor shimmers on the silver desks and the therein inserted touch surface. Due to safety reasons it is not adequate anymore to authenticate just with a fingerprint – with every touch of an employee, the identity has to be confirmed new instead. Bernhard has, as one of a few the access to all data. Thanks to the new safety system, he doesn’t has to login with the password every time, but rather the system checks his rights, yet he requests the data.
Bernhard tries hard, to check a few mails for a while. But he has to accept soon with blazing eyes, that it doesn’t make sense anymore. He safes the current status of his work and is thank full to close the door behind him. It locks immediately with a calming click.

Industrieanlage

Bernhard makes a detour to the manufacturing plant anyway on his way outside. The tiredness lets him blink so often, that it is difficult for him to leave his eyes open for the identification of the retina. Sometimes he wishes the old-fashioned keys back. There is still a busy buzz and ticktack and Susanne, who has worked late shift is turning down the first machines. “Has the temperature control unit in C3 been repaired?” he asks. Susanne nods and moves her glasses a bit up. She lifts her brow, like her finger shifted it also at the same moment. “I’m working here for more than thirty years Bernhard. Of course it is working again.” Bernhard is examining Susanne’s grey hair and the ironic laugh lines a bit worried. Sometimes he forgets, that she is not the youngest anymore, due to her gruff kind. “Didn’t you want to step down?” Actually she announced, that she wouldn’t take over late shifts anymore.
“From next month then” she says and winks. “If I can cut loose. Believe me, it will be hard, to work less, when you are used to it.”
Bernhard waits for the machines to become quiet and accompanies Susanne on their way outside. “I like to come here” she says while looking to the operational building.
“Still.”
The tiredness takes Bernhard finally over in the car. He is glad, that the times, when drivers weren’t allowed to close the eyes are over.

Bernhard blinks against the light. Unpleasantly bright. It shouldn’t be bright in his bedroom.
With his smartphone in his hand he sits straight in bed in the next moment. 9:15 illuminates on to him from the display. Damn! He must have forgotten to set an alarm.
Then he reads, what stands under the time. 12 missed calls.
He scrolls down the list quickly. Every call came from LifeOptimum, every few minutes since today morning, 7 o’clock.

Industrieunfall mit zwei Feuerwehrmännern in Chemieschutzanzügen

He moans internal. This is never a good sign.
Somebody probably build some crap and he has to straighten it. It makes fun to be boss.
He dresses quickly, takes the coffee into the car and gets on his way. When he drives to the parking area, he notices the many people that gathered in front of the door. He backs out of the car with a bad feeling, detects Christian in the group and walks to him in hurry.
“Hey, what is going on here? Have you all forgotten to bring your fingertips for the sensor this morning?” he asks in pretended good tempered sound and puts his hands up. Then he sees Christians face. He is as white as chalk.
„This is not funny.“ He stares at Bernhard. „The sensor hasn’t worked this morning. By none of us. He just hasn’t recognized us. „Then it has to be broken. Have you already called the responsible security company?”
“You don’t understand this. This isn’t everything.“
Bernhard let’s his view wander through the group. He can see the shock in every ones face.
He turns to Christian slowly. “What happened?” he asks, as he understands the gravity of the situation.
“No clue. We just hear broken bits” says Christian and runs his hand through his hair. Obviously he does this already the whole morning because his hair sticks out roundly. “They say something has been stolen. Someone broke in.” “Broken in?” Bernhard laughs but even it sounds in his own ears anxious. “How should that has been happened? We have more biometric latching mechanisms than I can count. Fingerprint, retina scans, facial recognition …” Christian shrugs his shoulders but doesn’t speak anymore.

Mann sitzt einer unkenntlichen Person gegenüber und hat die Finger verschränkt.

Later Bernhard sits vis-á-vis to a policewoman with a stringent face. It still isn’t everything clear, she says, but the investigations are running. The stolen data is apparently transferred to several competitors. The smallest loss was, that the facilities worth billions have been destroyed. “How were the people able to enter the production site?” Bernhard feels oddly numb. “And how to the data?”
“This is the reason, why we have to talk to you. Somebody was able to insert the server with your login data.” Technically he should have been shocked, but instead he smiles nervously. Everything sounds to bizarre to be true. “But I wasn’t there. I haven’t stolen anything.” A scared smile escapes him. “Ich have a great job here, I got a promotion! Why should I steel data? Why should I want to destroy the company?”
“We already checked your data” ensures the policewoman. She doesn’t smile. “We know, that you drove home around 11 pm and came back this morning. It was your data, but it wasn’t you. You are not here as a suspect.”
“How do you mean that?”
“Before the data has been abstracted from LifeOptimum your data was stolen. Probably from a smart phone, tablet or similar.”
“No, no, this can’t be” he says and pulls his smart phone out of his pocket. “Have this for years. It is secured biometric.”’
“Show it to me.” The policewoman takes the smart phone with pointed finge3rs. “ITwa5 A 31G MI5T4Ke Ltd. & CIO K4G?“
Bernhard nods silent.
“Damn.”
“What is happening?”
“We investigate in this case for weeks. The company has sold customers data to third parties frequently. We weren’t able to find out who was affected in detail.” She falls silent abrupt. “I am not allowed to tell you this, while the investigation is still running.”

What?” A wave of panic and anger overruns Bernhard, as he stares at the smart phone on the table. “Then … it is my fault?”
Christian ensures him later that he is not miffed about it. “This could have happened to everyone.” But the resignation in his eyes hurts more, as allegation would have. Christian and Aline welcome their first child next week – and Christian is unemployed.
Susanne waves his apologies aside with trembling hand. Suddenly she appears as old, as she is. “I just thought I would retire here.” Her smile looks like as she would intensely try to retention her tears. “Who is going to take someone my age?”

Fingerabdruck auf einer Weltkugel, im Hintergrund einige technische Linien

Bernhard is driving ahead at LifeOptimum again two weeks later. He comes back here daily without knowing why, just out of habit. He sits in his car for hours, starring at the building and waiting, that the lights are going on or someone comes out to smoke. Bernhard stays alone.
His smart phone lays on the car dashboard, the new one, which he hardly dares to touch. He has informed himself how to secure it better. A bit to late, he thinks and closes his hand to a fist.
Executive technician destroys company worth millions.

Bildschirm mit Fingerabdruck links und Zahlen und "Access Granted" Schriftzug rechts
Public
null

Public Case

Worst Case Scenarios
Güterzüge auf einem Rangierbahnhof von oben

A few flowers wither away on the desk and the chairs are padded in a suitable orange colour. In front of Bernhard is a coffee and a plate with cookies from the cheap bulk pack.
All of this may should create an atmosphere of trust or kindness but can’t delude over the circumstances of the situation. An interrogation at the police station is just not the moment for relaxation even though the officers are trying to be as considerate as possible. Least of all on this day.
“Also, Mr Biom.” The policewoman moves her thick edged glasses up and looks at him with a piercing glance. “We know that it must also be a difficult situation for you. Therefore, we are thankful that you agreed to answer some questions. You don’t have relatives or friends amongst the victims, if my colleague has informed me right?”
A fly buzzes behind Bernhard and he must bear down the impulse to look after it behind him. He shakes his head. “No, only colleagues. No family.”
“Of course.” The policewoman purses her lips and nods. “It would have been a miracle if you hadn’t known some of the victims occupational.”
It is quiet for a moment, the fly settled down somewhere else. Bernhard says nothing.
“Good. I know you already have been interrogated. But could you explain me once again just rough, wherein your work persists? I thought the infrastructure is completely engineered and managed through computers meanwhile. Wasn’t it this, what has made this terrible … incident enabled?
Bernhard moves his mouth. Of course, there are just a few officers specialised on this sector. It seems like the justice hasn’t noticed yet, that the average criminal doesn’t use stocking masks for camouflage and pistols for a long time.

This is the reason why the woman has no clue of the collaboration of human and technique. It is obvious, that no one without special training executes the interrogation. They have more urgent things to do.
“I’m directly employed at the train company” he explains, “and I have coordinative tasks. Regularly special programs regulate the traffic of the trains. Starting with the speed to the switch stand to the point of the shunt. But it rarely runs according to schedule.” “The programs thus can’t react to everything?” “Even this is in progress, in a few years the majority of the positions should be depleted. But the conversion occurs slowly. This is the reason, why some trains are still occupied by engine drivers. It still needs people.” Bernhard puts his hands up explainable. “Something often changes spontaneous. Problems often appear, when it comes to delays. One rail is still engaged, although another train was already intended for it.”
The officer pushes the plate with the cookies a bit nearer to Bernhard as she was frightened that he oversaw it. She repeats, “coordination tasks”. “You step in, when the scheduled process is disturbed.”
“Usually through people”, he says. “The boarding and deboarding takes longer than planned, someone throws oneself on the rails. Sometimes it’s the weathers fault.”
“Was there on the respective day such a case when you had to step in?”
“Of course, I have to deal with such things always.”
“Was anything else extraordinary?”

Zug der nahezu unerkennbar durchs Bild rauscht in Gelbd Orange Tönen

There was a smell of coffee in the small train station house. Bernhard has let his eyes wander over the different monitors, which took most of the wall area. The numbers on them changed the whole time, between stood cryptic letter orders. Meanwhile Bernhard recognises a pleasant clarity. When he started working here, the information about the railway system seemed like a foreign language to him. He can read them like the daily news today.
He goes through the display and checks their accuracy one after another. He logged from the manual access out in the sector B as the disturbance in operation has been corrected. He took his smart phone then and scrolled through the last massages of the family group. Julia has sent some pictures from the tent camp. He looked through them with a smile and texted Amelie then, that he would take over the late shift on Friday.

“No. There was no advanced warning if you mean this. Someone who accomplishes to gets into the system will pay attention to stay unremarkable. I still can’t imagine, how it could happen at all. Either there is someone behind it, who is a genius on one’s area or there are federates inside of our company. Everything is secured biometric and without the access right nobody has authorisation to influence the traffic.”
The officer nods, but Bernhard can see that she is hardly listening to him. “So, it was a normal work day. When did you recognise that something isn’t right?”
A shiver runs over Bernhard. Like every time when he thinks about it. He forces himself to keep a calm sound. “Only when it was to late. Maybe three or four seconds before it happened.”

Three or four seconds. It was just enough time to wrap Bernhard with panic. The changing displays and language which he suddenly can’t read anymore, when he nevertheless realised what was written there on the familiar monitors.

Steuerstand Bahn

He then felt it before he heard it. A distant shake whose destructive force pushed from the distance of the train station.
A strike, an ear-piercing crunch, which wasn’t similar to anything what he has heard before. And it didn’t end. The screaming of bending and breaking metal lasts and Bernhard pressed his hands on his ears. He was sitting there for long, maybe minutes. When he has then let his hands fall he was able to hear the panic screams from the platform.

“What exactly happened at the train station where you were working?”
“Not at the train station.” Bernhard was starring at the bald wall behind the officer. “In front of it. A train was currently moving out of the train station. An ICE should draw in on the adjacent track. This was running according to schedule, I did not have to correct anything. I wasn’t even logged in. But instead of the adjacent track the ICE pulled in on the engaged rail in fact with clearly more than hundred kilometres per hour. The collision occurred about seven hundred meters distant of the train station.”
The policewoman releases him a bit later. “I thank you for your conversation. I don’t think we have to bother you again.”
„Thank you.” He at least meant this honest.
Bernhard has made this declaration already a bunch of times and by now it sounds hollow in his own ears. Even the news which no one can escape for one week are only meaningless words. More than five hundred dead people at the disaster which he witnessed, in addition another five hundred injured, most of them badly. Under other circumstance Bernhard would have asked himself why exactly he had to be there on this day.
But this was just the beginning.

Zwei Rauchschwaden steigen über Industriegebiet auf

On the short way to his MIND one street further the newspapers and advertising screens are screaming it to him from all sides.

Number of dead people by nationwide train disaster is rising to ten thousand.

Bernhard lowers his view to the pavement. A dirty smeared newspaper is laying distributed over half of the way. More and more hints: It was an act of terrorism.

The until now unknown offenders intruded the system of the train company and have taken over the control of trains and switch points of twenty-three spots at the same time.

Over a screen at the right side of Bernhard are pictures of a wagon which flung off the rails due to far too much speed, flickering. An amateur live recording of a collision, filmed from a bridge follows afterwards. The trains are shifted out of the rails by the crash, push into each other, break as easy as toy railways.
The screen is mute but Bernhard hears the echo screaming in his memory.

The shrill of the doorbell lets Bernhard startle. Amelie and the children are at a birthday she hadn’t any objections for once as he wanted to stay at home. “I understand if you need to rest, to process it. Take the time you need.”

Bernhard pulls his smart phone and watches the cameras installed outdoor to see who is disturbing him on a Saturday afternoon. He frowns when he sees the two officers in uniform. He unlocks the door with the sensor of his smartphone even before he gets up.

He says, “your colleague told me that you have every information which you need from me” a moment later while they were sitting at the kitchen table. “I beared witness three times.” The older officer nods. “We don’t have any further questions to you as far as the course of events is concerned.” The other one is younger, maybe in his thirties, seems more open-minded.

“We have as far as possible knowledge about how the offenders were able to manipulate the systems. They have taken possession of foreign biometric data of different employees with appropriate access authorisation.”

“What? How do you mean this?”

“We are sorry Mr Biom. We are here to confiscate all devices which possibly could have saved biometric data from you. Smart phones, tablets, everything like this.”

Bernhard first looks to him, then to his colleague bewildered. “Wait. What?”

The older leans his elbows on the table deliberate. “Several employees of the train establishment have become victims of a data theft which we have not experienced in this extent. The data has probably been stolen from one company which is saving them as a matter of routine. We assume it’s the company ITwa5 A 31G MI5T4Ke Ltd. & CIO K4G. Does this tell you something?”

Smartphone mit Bild von gescanntem Fingerabdruck in einer Hand

Bernhard embraces his smart phone in his pocket instinctively. He impulse of hiding it from the officers breaks over him for a moment. He then lays it in front of them on the table. His hands shake.

The young policeman exchanges a view with his colleague. His view is sad when he looks at Bernhard. “I’m very sorry Mr Biom. Please don’t accuse yourself.”

No, thinks Bernhard and remembers his testimonies. Nothing extraordinary happened. There was no advanced warning.

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