I recall reading this story in the late 1980s. I think it was a pulp magazine. I don't remember the cover, and there were no illustrations.

The story began with unnoticed hacker disappearances around the world, but the disappearance of a well-known American hacker drew the attention of government law enforcement, who assumed it was related to the Russians or a hacker war and launched an investigation that led them to a dead end. The authorities then negotiated the release of a computer genius and well-known hacker, who was imprisoned, in exchange for his assistance. The hacker, who is constantly under surveillance, determines that the nature of the disappearances had something to do with extraterrestrials attempting to evade detection.

I'm almost certain that half of the book is about humans being unable to communicate due to a scrambling or jamming caused by the extraterrestrials. Finally, the hacker discovers that the aliens are an advance squad that communicates with other aliens distributed throughout our solar system and that have prepared to take over the Earth. The hacker also claims that the only way to find their position on Earth was to utilize a computer virus he created moments before being captured. The issue for the authorities was that once the virus was planted, the hacker had complete access to all government institutions (including the Pentagon's computers) and bank accounts. The administration reluctantly accepts the hacker's proposal, and the hacker is able not only to pinpoint the location of the extraterrestrial spaceship near Area 51 but also to drop an atomic bomb on the alien vessel. I am sure about the following. The hacker, who was typing apparent gibberish above a computer keyboard, stated to a federal agent something like: "What about if I direct the bomb to the Kremlin?" Then, the agent places a gun at his head and says, "If you do so, you will be the first fatality in this affair, and not at the hands of the aliens." The other alien beings flee after the alien ship is destroyed. The last thing I remember is that the hacker vanishes without a trace, having transferred enormous sums of money from multinational bank accounts to his bank's untraceable account in Switzerland or so.

Does the plot sound familiar? I will highly appreciate any help in my search.


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