I. Purple Dude Battles the Trojan Horse

It was a warm October day in 2001. A few months before, Jason Q. Finch, boy genius, had just come up with the idea for Purple Dude.

Purple Dude is Jason’s Cyber alter-ego, a good guy who races around the globe spreading computer know-how and fighting the forces of evil.

Jason’s mother, Dr. Madelyn Finch, and father, Dr. Frederick Finch, had just returned to the Las Vegas suburbs from Okinawa, Japan.

The scientists were studying a mysterious strain of bird flu that had been afflicting residents at a U.S. military base. Victims suffered high fever, scrawny legs, and a painful outgrowth of tiny feathers.

Jason’s parents were on the verge of a breakthrough when every computer in their research facility rebooted. Up popped the face and taunting voice of Dr. Cedric Spink.

“I’m Ba-aack,” Spink’s voice said. “You can’t get rid of me that easily. Nya-ha-ha!”

Dr. Spink, a disgruntled former colleague, had just infected all of the computers in the Finch’s disease research facility with a Trojan horse.

Spink’s Trojan horse was able to pass through the research unit’s firewall because it took on the appearance of something a computer user might want.

Spink designed a Trojan horse to look like a birthday card. He hatched his plan after hacking into the webmail account that the boyfriend of one of his co-workers had been using.

Once he had access to the boyfriend’s webmail account, he sent the birthday card to a co-worker, Tanya Gucci, who had rebuffed Spink’s advances shortly before Spink got fired.

When Tanya saw that her new boyfriend had sent a birthday card, she opened the attached file without hesitation. It was from, she thought, a trusted source.

Instantly, however, the Trojan horse’s cargo of viruses and worms started racing through the research unit’s operating systems.

But Spink’s revenge on Tanya and the disease research unit was short-lived. Within seconds, Jason, aka Purple Dude, had sent an instant message to a waiting team of Purple Tech Pros (PTPs).

Spink’s malware wasn’t really that ingenious. But it was crafty enough to disable the brand of antivirus software the research team had been using to protect their systems.

Within minutes, Purple Dude and the PTPs had isolated the disabling line of code, deleted it from the infected systems, re-booted and scanned for viruses, and cleaned up the rest of Spink’s malware.

With their systems back up and running, Jason’s parents quickly discovered the most beneficial cure for the Okinawa bird flu: a steaming bowl of chicken soup.