How To Do Office Work
Before you get to the target office, agree on the aim. Is it
to simply make your presence felt, to gather information or designed
for maximum disruption? Everyone should agree on what to do inside
and how long to stay for - and stick to it.
Reconnaissance is important. Look for ways in, such as open ground
floor windows, fire escapes, and side doors, and ensure everyone
knows the basic layout.
The best way in is usually the front door! Anyone who doesn't
want to go in could picket the entrance, and leaflet cars in the
workers' car park. Make a simple plan to get in. Entrances often
have security locks, swipe-card readers, or intercoms. One smartly
dressed person going in and opening doors and windows for everyone
else often works. It helps if this person has an excuse such as
courier delivery, an employment inquiry or a pre-booked appointment
with a named worker. This person must be prepared to react quickly
and sometimes decisively, for example, to push past employees
to get doors open when the rabble arrive. If the only door is
a revolving one then windows will be a better bet. Alternatively,
you can sneak in behind employees going in, or catch the door
as one leaves. Ensure that you aren't spotted beforehand.
Once in, the fun starts! You might all look for specific offices
or scatter through the building to cause chaos, but stay in pairs
at least, as office workers can defend their space assertively.
In the past it has often worked for groups to barricade themselves
into unoccupied offices thus ensuring an uninterrupted search/reorganisation.
In open plan offices, or when barricading options are limited,
there is a tendency for activists to drift to one place after
the initial rush. Try to avoid this as it makes it easier for
staff/police to contain you and get you out. Keep it calm and
non-confrontational, especially as most workers you come across
will not be the decision makers; seek out the bosses! Reassure
workers who seem frightened by our invasion that you intend no
violence, and distribute leaflets explaining your case to them.
If your goal is disruption, rearrange paper and cabinets, lock
doors and hide keys, unplug, barricade yourself into empty offices,
play with computers (see facing page). Keep it tidy, and they
might not discover what you've been up to until later; obvious
criminal damage or theft on these type of actions may lead to
everyone being arrested especially if you are few in number. That
said, some occupations have involved smashing up as much as possible.
If your goal is info-gathering, get in and out quickly, there
is nothing to be gained and a lot to be lost by hanging around
because a 30 minute action seems too short. Rummage through filing
cabinets, go through desk diaries, look at notice boards, search
through computers and photograph or photocopy anything interesting.
Alternatively, you could fax documents to someone on the outside,
who should be briefed to keep their fax line free. You may want
to borrow some documents or computer disks to study at your leisure.
Chuck them out of a window to waiting colleagues who can spirit
them away immediately. Don't hang around waiting to be arrested.
Leave a pre-printed disclaimer in their place, stating that anything
removed will be returned undamaged within 24 hours. This gives
time to read files and copy useful stuff you can return the files
either to the office doorstep in the middle of the night, or (anonymously)
to a police station lost property office in a different town.
It is essential to return everything if any one does get nicked
for theft; although the disclaimer has no actual legal weight,
charges should be dropped if files are returned as promised.
Everyone should leave together, and make sure no-one is left
inside. Be aware that police often search everyone before they
leave the office, especially if anything appears to have been
removed or damaged.
Office occupations generally don't lead to arrest. However, there
is the possibility of arrest, most likely for breach of the peace,
burglary or section 241 of the Trade Unions Act 1994. Burglary
is often used as an excuse to arrest. Don't openly eat food or
use electrical equipment or they may indiscriminately make arrests.
Most arrests will not lead to a court case. People have sometimes
gone in with a list of demands such as a meeting senior management.
These demands are generally not worth winning and negotiation
for them may make a court conviction more likely. This happened
to the 20 'Opencast Defendants' in 1998, when it was taken as
evidence of coercion, to secure a conviction for section 241.
This case was exceptional however as £350 000 worth of damage
had been done to a nearby mine earlier in the day.
While some of your mates are going through the desk diary, the
filing cabinets and the drawers it may be worth you taking a look
at the beige box with a telly on it in the corner of the desk.
Before you decide what best action to take you have to have a
browse around the PC. If the computer is off switch it on. The
computer may appear to end its starting procedure with a logon
box. Many systems save the last username to be used in this box,
write this name down because if the user has e-mail it can probably
be worked out using this email@example.com (alternatively
find the person's calling card). E-mail addresses are handy to
have as viruses and hacking tools can be sent to the unwitting
user at a later date. You may try a couple of passwords (look
for obscure things written on post-it notes). This probably won't
work and after a few tries it will tell you that you are locked
out of the network. Just accept this and click cancel until the
computer seems to be running.
If the computer is already on then open the windows explorer
and check out how many drives there are. If there are more than
4 drives then you are probably already attached to the network.
The following assumes that Windows 95 or 98 is installed but probably
applies to Windows NT too.
RE-FORMATTING: This is quite un-subtle and may cause the
least damage of all. In any fair sized company most data will
be either stored on a file server or backed up nightly. Having
said that most users are crap at doing this (especially those
at the top of organisations). If there appears to be no network
attachment then this may well be your best option. To format the
disk select Start menu
- shutdown - restart computer in MS-DOS mode. When you get the
C:\> Prompt type format C: /u
Repartitioning. If you're going to re-format a disk then you
may as well repartition it. Repartitioning a drive just makes
it a bit harder recover any data than a simple format. Get to
C:\> prompt. Stick a floppy disk in and type a: then
type copy c:\windows\command\fdisk.* a: - if no file is
found then type copy c:\dos\fdisk.* a: . Then format as
above. Reboot the PC with floppy disk in the machine. Type fdisk,
delete all partitions, reboot again, type fdisk and create 2 or
3 new partitions.
DELETE FILES: Deleting files on the hard drive in the
machine is pretty simple. Highlight the files you want to delete.
Select lots by holding the shift or control key down as you click
(experiment with this). Before you press the delete key hold down
the shift key. Do not release the shift key - until the confirm
file delete box comes up. If you don't hold shift down the files
will only go to the recycle bin. After deleting you may as well
empty the recycle bin (click on the recycle and choose empty recycle
bin from the menu). To make absolutely sure that the data cannot
be recovered install the Disk cleanup (www.execpc.com/~sbd/CleanUp.html)
and totally wipe the free space. This is a really small utility
that will easily fit on a floppy disk. Using this utility will
make it almost impossible to restore data and is much more effective
than simply reformatting a disk. Deleting files from a network
drive is pretty similar. Once you've deleted something go to menu
- Run, type command, then change to the drive that you
have deleted from by typing the drive letter followed by a colon
(e.g. u:) then cd/ and then type purge * /a:
on most networks this will ensure that files are completely deleted.
CHANGING FILES: This is pretty obvious really: rather
than deleting files that will probably be restored from backup,
try changing files instead. The best thing to do is probably to
do search for spreadsheet files (*.xls or *.wk*). Find
them using the Start menu-Find, stick *.xls, *.wk* in
the 'Named' box. Then sort them by modified date by clicking on
the modified label, double click on the most recently modified
file or one that looks like it contains important financial information
(big files are best). Then simply change the odd number here and
there. It may be a long time before they realise the error, and
it will mean that they have to do a lot of checking through out
that file to look for other errors. They probably won't be able
to restore from back-up as they may not know when the change occurred
(it may not be discovered for months) and even if they know when
the changes were made other parts of the spreadsheet may have
been updated since then making a restore from backup impractical.
INSERTING A VIRUS: Before inserting a virus take a look
at the properties of any running virus detection program. Next
to the clock on the bottom right of the screen there will probably
be small icon indicating that an anti-virus programme is running.
Double click on it and take a look at the properties. What you
have to try and to stop the anti-virus program from scanning files
but not stop it running. Uncheck any boxes like scan files on
Run, copy etc. You may be able to stop it from scanning (exclude)
whole drives. Any viruses that you have brought in will probably
be detected so you want to stop the computer from scanning for
files but give the impression that it is still running. If you
can't do this then you have to disable the virus protection. This
will probably be discovered earlier.
MACRO VIRUSES: If your virus is a Word virus then before
you insert it you must disable Word's own virus protection. Open
Word, open Tools - options and click on the General tab. Uncheck
the macro virus protection box (do the same in Excel if your virus
is in an .xls file). Now try inserting your virus by either running
the program or opening the document. If the virus proctection
on the machine finds it and you have the option to exclude this
virus from the virus list then do so. If not then you will have
to disable the anti-virus program. First simply close down the
icon near the clock in the bottom right of the screen. Next open
Windows Explorer and check out what is in C:\windows\start menu\program
startup. If there is an icon there that looks like it is an anti-virus
program delete it. Next go to Start menu - Run. Type sysedit.
Look at the win.ini file (within the sysedit box), right near
the top of this file there should be two lines that start Load=
& Run=, delete anything that looks like it is anti-virus related
on these lines. Next look at the autoexec.bat file (again in the
sysedit box) and again delete anything that looks virus related.
Now close the sysedit window. Viruses are available for download
(zipped up) from www.geocities.com/Baja/28461
(do a web search for others Hacking Tools - for the more computer
literate occupier Back Orifice is a tool that can be downloaded
from www.toxyn.org or www.cultdeadcow.com.
This program will give you remote control of the computer if it
is attached to the internet. You will be able to change, read
and delete files remotely and even randomly make their computer
play .wav files or shut down from the comfort of your local internet
cafe. Back Orifice is detected by most anti-virus programs so
the host computer must be prepared following the instructions
above and the IP address must be noted.