...and at 10PM, see if the investigators can track a killer who hacks an online game and tricks children into delivering illegal weapons on the next episode of...

It was a quiet, lazy evening. Alan C. was in bed with his wife, getting his well deserved rest after a hectic week at work. Just as he picked up the remote to raise the volume, he was startled by a long, low growl.

"Hungry?" his wife muttered without opening her eyes.

"Guess so."

"No way I'm cooking anything today. Let's grab a pizza."

Alan sighed and picked up his laptop, looking for a pizza place nearby.

Mario's Pizza - the best pizza in town! the first Google result screamed at him. Order by phone or online!

Not wanting to disturb his half-asleep wife, he entered the website and clicked the big "ORDER ONLINE" button. After a few minutes of picking ingredients, sides, drinks, and sauces, he was ready to place his $50 order of "true Italian goodness". He scrolled down to the end of the form to submit it.

Then he scrolled up. Then he scrolled left, right, and sideways, but no matter where he looked, he couldn't proceed with his order. The submit button simply wasn't there.

But Alan wasn't a developer for nothing. A simple UI glitch wouldn't stand between him and his thin-crust treat. He fired up the console, opened the site's source, and typed:

<button type="submit">Give me my pizza!</button>

He hit the button, and was instantly taken to the confirmation page. Patting himself on the back for his cleverness, he returned to watching TV.

A few minutes later, his phone rang.

"Hello, it's Mario's Pizza, the best pizza in town," a dull woman's voice announced. "Your order's ready, but we're not able to deliver it to your location. Would you like to pick it up yourself?"

Alan checked the website for the pizzeria's address. Just five minutes from here. Well, if that's what it takes... "Okay. I'll be there soon."


The counter propped up a bored-looking waitress. In the back, a man with a thick moustache, curly hair, and apron tended the ovens. Otherwise, the pizza place was deserted.

Alan approached the counter and pulled out his wallet. "Hello, I'm here to pick up an online order."

"An... online order?" The quiet blonde stared at him with wide-open eyes, like a deer caught in headlights.

By the looks of it, she's never seen a customer before, Alan thought. "That's right."

"I'll... get it right now."

She retreated into the back and whispered something to the aproned man- who frowned and shooed her back out.

"Sir, we apologize, but the order seems to be... delayed," she said upon returning. "If you wouldn't mind having a seat..."

"No, not at all." Alan was getting annoyed with the situation, but decided to bite the bullet. After all, a good pizza is worth the wait.

A minute later, the shop door chimed. Two policemen entered, both sporting slight looks of confusion. One of them- a short, black youngster with thin-framed glasses- stepped behind the counter with the waitress to examine a computer monitor. The other- buzz-cut, muscular, a head taller than Alan- struggled to get through the small door frame.

The man in the back ran out, pointing at a surprised Alan. "There he is! Un criminale!" he yelled with an Italian accent far too over-the-top to be genuine. "Arrest him now!"

"Sir." The taller policeman sat down with Alan. "We've received a report of cyber crime."

"Excuse me?" Alan struggled to make sense of what was happening.

"According to the owner of this establishment-" the policeman pointed at the Italian "-a security breach occurred on his website about an hour ago. Our technician is investigating. In the meantime, we'd appreciate you telling us what you know."

"Um, I... okay, I guess?" Alan's mind kept drawing blanks. Maybe it's some hidden camera show? Like, you help out and you get a million dollars? "I used the website to place an order..."

"A-HA!" the owner screamed loud enough to knock both Alan and the policeman out of their chairs. "You admit! You criminale! You assassino! The webmaster took the website down today! Nobody can order anything!"

"But the website's up!" Alan cried in protest.

"It does seem to be working," the other policeman called from the monitor.

"But you can't order!" The owner rushed to the computer, clicked "ORDER ONLINE" and turned the monitor. "See? See?!"

Something in Alan's mind fell into place. "The form was broken! There was no submit button, so I worked around it."

"A criminal, and a shameless one to boot!" the owner cried.

"What?! I just added a button that wasn't there!" Alan cried. "Anybody could do it!"

"Um, if I may?" the officer at the computer- obviously the more technical of the pair- said.

Angry half-Italian screams drowned him out. "He hacked us! He changed our code!" the owner cried. "Arrest him!"

"Sir, I-"

"Come on, what am I paying taxes for?! Put him in jail! Him, his sons, his son's sons, and-"

"Sir, I advise you to drop the matter!" the technician finally managed.

"Drop it? Pigliainculo, vai e fot..."

"Sir," he continued, "if you don't drop the charges, we'll have to report this incident to the Internet Police."

"Report?" the owner repeated with a quiet and much more New York voice.

Alan was about to protest, but at the last moment decided it was probably wiser not to.

"There are strict standard security protocols for taking down US-based websites. They've gone shamlessly ignored here," the technician said. "That's a serious offense, carrying a maximum fine of up to $500,000."

"Five... hundred...!"

Alan did all he could not to burst out giggling.

"However... if you don't press charges, we don't file paperwork, and this all goes away," the technician said. "So? What'll it be?"

"No, no, of course, no charges, no! Free of charges! Pizza too, free of charge! Just go!" The owner motioned to the waitress to grab some boxes from the kitchen and shove them into Alan's hands.


As the doors closed behind them, Alan handed two of the boxes to the policemen. "Wow, I owe you two big time. Internet police? Really?"

"I've always wanted to say that." The technician smiled. "When you see how stupid people can be with security sometimes..."

"Well, it's a good thing they don't give them guns," the other policeman chuckled.

"We're done here," the technician said. "Be safe, and don't go around hacking pizzerias!"

"Don't worry, never again!" Alan said.


"Hey, what took you so long?" his wife asked from under the covers.

"Oh, nothing really. I just had a little chat with the owner," Alan said. "He said they had some... website problems."

"Let me guess, you fixed it for them. You're so easily sidetracked."

"Guess you can say that." Alan picked up a piece of pizza and grabbed the remote. It was five to ten, and he wasn't going to miss a single second of the show.