On 8th November 2066, over fifty of Big City’s largest news agencies including the largest one called National Press of Big City had their websites covered with stories about the breakout of a huge plague all over Big City and stated that over 2,000 had died within a few days because of the plague.
The articles then stated that one company called PharmaCitycals had created a tablet that would create immunity against the so called “Oceanic Plague”. The articles were all pretty similar but written in a different way and had links to buy the tablets which costed a lot. People started buying the tablets and within one day, the company made sales worth well over $950,000 in sales. The Big Citian government’s health department started looking into the matter within an hour of the news release and after five hours it released a statement:
“The Health & Disease Department of the Government of Big City can assure its citizens that the reports of the supposed ‘Oceanic Plague’ are false and the statistics such as number of casualties given in the articles are totally inaccurate. The Big City government can also confirm that the news agencies had no knowledge of these articles and it appears that this has been an organised crime by a group of cyber criminals to make the citizens vulnerable to sell them cures for this bogus disease. The Intelligence Board of Big City & The National Cyber Force will further look into the matters. All citizens: please do not buy anything from the links given on the articles.”
Despite the statement being released, the panic-stricken people kept buying the tablets and eventually the Big City Government after a few hours of trying, managed to shut down the PharmaCitycals website. The news articles were all deleted from the websites after some sixteen hours after layers and layers of firewalls had been protecting them.
A day later the National Cyber Force found the people guilty of hacking into the news websites and publishing the articles, there were a total of eighteen people who had been hired by two women to publish the articles. They were being paid $200,000 by the two women who ran PharmaCitycals. The crime was organised by the two women who wanted to earn money by creating fake tablets and selling them at hiked prices. The eighteen were caught and given a prison sentence of six years but they had to pay fines of over $600,000 combined. Out of the two owners, one was caught at the Coandra port boarding a ship to South Africa, her name was Emily Johnson. She was given a sentence of thirty years and when she was asked about the other owner, she said that they had only ever talked over the phone and had no idea where she was. Emily paid a fine of $800,000 and the other woman, Caitlyn Ampt remained at large.