It was a dark and stormy network. He sat in a dimly lit room, hunched at his desk. The coffee stains, overflowing ash trays and pizza boxes showed he hadn’t been out in days — or was it weeks? “Security? What security??!” he exclaimed while pounding away at the keyboard. It was Google’s dirty little secret. No, the security hole being added to HTML5 wasn’t a small one, it certainly wasn’t theoretical. And only a mind as brilliant as The Editor’s could bury it so deep within the specification, hidden so well inside the convoluted algorithms, that not even the strictest auditor could find it. He cackled to himself as he committed the change, knowing that Google would reward him handsomely for this.

But suddenly, a knock came at the door.

“Mr Hickson?”

The Editor leapt to his feet, scrambling to destroy the evidence. A charge blew, and the door was blown in. The security team rushed over to the desk — but the disks had already been degaussed. The team leader threw Hickson to the ground and held him down with his knee, cuffing his hands behind his back.

“You’re going away a long time for this.”

Hickson sneered. “You’re too late anyway. The change has been made. Implementations have already begun!”

“Take him away — I don’t wanna hear another word out of him.”

The two other members of the team picked him up and lead him to the door.

“But wait — how could you have known I was here? Who are you?” Hickson was incredulous. He’d been so careful. Self-doubt began running through his head.

“The name’s Barth. Consider yourself... patched.”

Keith Warrick’s new novel, Security Considerations, in all good bookstores December 10, just in time for Christmas.