Ha! I never thought I’d say this but – I appreciated this episode for its slowness. Instead of giving us another case and another criminal, we took a more introspective look towards Ki Young’s past . Yes – this also means Daniel Choi is back! But with more information comes more questions, and we’re finally seeing the bigger case surrounding Shin Hyo Jung’s murder.
SONG OF THE DAY
“Burn It” by Block B from the Ghost OST [download]
So here’s the question – arrest Woo Hyun/Ki Young for killing Shin Hyo Jung, or try and save all of Korea from a Dae Young attack? I personally would go for the latter, but Hyuk Joo thinks Woo Hyun is just pulling another stunt to get out of being arrested. Really? ‘Cause all of Seoul is freaking out over the loss of power, and Eung Jin can’t even get any of his colleagues to go help Daehan Electric stop the attack; they’re either stuck in traffic, or all too busy stopping the DDOS attack.
With each minute, the Stuxnet virus infects another system within Daehan Electric. The security team can’t even launch their vaccine program – a software used to find and destroy viruses – because the server holding it has been destroyed. Mr. Noh believes that the virus is being controlled remotely, even though Daehan Electric technically has a closed network.
Woo Hyun and Hyuk Joo burst through the doors, showing their badges. The virus is using the back door to gain access into the system, Woo Hyun claims. He pulls out the USB in Mr. Noh’s computer – it all started with this little fella. To stop Dae Young group, he’ll need to locate their IP address. Of course, since they’re such talented hackers, Dae Young has a lot of false IP addresses that misdirects Woo Hyun to China, Hong Kong, and Korea. He finally pins them down in Incheon at Chun Ha PC Cafe.
Dae Young’s location is distributed to all the cyber team members, who are all stuck in traffic in various parts of Seoul. Kang Mi is nearest to Incheon, so she radios in that she’ll take them down, and then promptly drives on the sidewalk. Hell yeah.
Daehan Electric’s security team pressure Woo Hyun to take down the virus within 10 minutes; there are small hospitals trying to save lives that are not prepped for this kind of blackout. So Woo Hyun calls up Eung Jin to find out where Dae Young’s Command & Control Server (C&C server) is located. (The C&C server controls all the zombie computers, so Dae Young would be working through it to lead the zombies.) It’s apparently located in a Singaporean university’s server room, and Eung Jin’s already got people there trying to stop it.
Woo Hyun: “Don’t stop it.” Whaaaat?! But no worries, he’s got a plan! He gets the IP address of the server and then, with his hacker skills, he will stop the DDOS attack order and turn it around against Dae Young in Incheon instead.
For every attack that the Dae Young hackers make, Woo Hyun stops it and sends it right back to them. It forces the hackers to move to another computer and attack from another IP address within the PC cafe. Wang Ji Wi thinks it’s too much effort for what they’re being paid for, but for Dam Sa Myung, the game’s just started. Isn’t it fun to go up against another pro hacker?
Kang Mi finally arrives in front of Chun Ha PC cafe, just as Woo Hyun calls. He urgently tells her to take them down, as he probably can’t hold Dae Young down any longer. She heads to the basement, where the gate has been rolled down to make the PC cafe appear closed. She tries to lift it, and the rattling attracts the hackers’ attentions. However, since it’s locked, there’s no way Kang Mi will get in anyways.
One by one, Woo Hyun has another new IP address to attack. Mr. Noh then sees that the Electric Automation System is the target, as one of the computers tracks the virus’ path within Daehan Electric’s network. It would be disaster if the virus succeeds in destroying the automation system. The Electric Automation System controls the amount of electric power distributed to power plants; if it cannot regulate the electric power, too much energy will be distributed – enough to even blow up a nuclear reactor.
Um. Ok. No pressure, Woo Hyun!
Time is running out, as Dam Sa Myung has managed to access the Electric Automation System and set up the virus to destroy it. Kang Mi rushes to the bathrooms, interrupting a man by the urinal, to find a bucket. It’s a waiting game for Woo Hyun, as he’s hoping the hackers won’t launch another attack from another IP address.
Kang Mi fills up the bucket with water and heads down to the circuit breaker for the building.
Dam Sa Myung pauses, biding his time, as the virus asks him ‘Destroy this system? Yes / No’. He presses ‘Enter’.
Kang Mi splashes the circuit breaker with water. Electricity goes out for the building.
The attacks against Daehan Electric stop. They’re safe… right? Backup arrives for Kang Mi and they break into Chun Ha PC cafe, but by then, the Dae Young group is gone. The security team for Daehan check their systems and make sure that everything is in working order. However, Mr. Noh finds that another program has been queued up to run. Don’t click it! Ok he clicked it. It’s the virus Dam Sa Myung had set up and sent out before the power went out. Now they have less than a minute to stop the reactors from blowing up!
Everyone’s tearing out their hair because no one can stop this particular viral program. Woo Hyun pushes everyone out of the way. He sits at the computer, takes out his own USB, and plugs it in. He launches his own hacking virus that should stop programs from self-destructing. A few quick entries, and the progress bar stops at 95%.
And that’s just when the rest of the cyber team arrives to help. Good timing guys! Everyone cheers in relief, but only Woo Hyun is silent. And that’s when Hye Ram points at the computer screen – isn’t that Hades’ signature?
Hyuk Joo: “You’re digging up your own grave, Hades,” and he slaps the cuffs on Woo Hyun’s wrist.
News of the hacking scandal fills the air that evening in Seoul, with many newscasters and pundits offering their opinion on how catastrophic the situation nearly became. Despite having been able to stop Dae Young group from destroying all of Korea, the cyber team is more worried about Woo Hyun. Tae Gyun jumps to Woo Hyun’s defense, believing that Woo Hyun could have taken Hades’ code from somewhere in the Internet and used it to help stop the attack. Just because he used it doesn’t mean they should take him in for questioning.
But Hye Ram verified the particular virus Woo Hyun used, and it wasn’t one that has been distributed on the Internet. Sang Woo adds that CCTV tapes caught Woo Hyun going to the evidence room to use Hades’ laptop. The evidence is definitely stacked against Woo Hyun right now.
Hyuk Joo reports to Director Jun and Chief Shin that Woo Hyun is actually Ki Young. Chief Shin finds it preposterous; anything against Woo Hyun is considered preposterous. But Hyuk Joo is positively sure about it; because he himself handled Park Ki Young’s case a year ago, he now wants to get to the bottom of it. He wants to know the truth, and find out how in the world the dead body was verified to be Ki Young’s.
Director Jun advises caution, because if it’s leaked out that one of their own is actually the infamous Hades, it could ruin the image of the police. But, they’ll also need to get the Special Investigations unit to investigate internally. That’s where Chief Shin puts an end to it. Since the Special Investigations unit is under his control, he won’t allow an internal investigation. Everything Hyuk Joo has told him so far is circumstantial.
Hyuk Joo: But what if I show you the log records and prove it to you?
He takes the two heads to Eung Jin, who shows them the CCTV in Daehan Electric’s security room. From the video, he was able to determine what the password Woo Hyun used to launch Hades’ virus. He converted the English letters to form Korean words, and got the password: “Computer Crime Investigation 1997,” a reference to the first cyber crime squad in Korea. Eung Jin then used that password onto Hades’ laptop, and was able to successfully log in. However, he couldn’t access the C and D drives were locked with another password.
The log records of the computer did show that the time Woo Hyun accessed the computer coincided with the time Jung So Eun’s computer were hacked, so it’s 99% likely that Woo Hyun did it all. The evidence being more concrete now, Chief Shin has no choice but to call in all the other directors for a meeting. They will interrogate Woo Hyun jointly and decide whether or not to investigate him.
Woo Hyun is called into the meeting room, and sits before the directors and the cyber crime team. Hyuk Joo and Eung Jin lay the facts on the table for the other directors. It boils down to this crucial question: Did Woo Hyun know Hades’ private password?
Woo Hyun: I did hack using Hades’ laptop.
Um – dude, why are you telling the truth!?
He then calls Eung Jin to bring the Hades laptop over. He rattles off the password to log in to the computer, and then tells him to access the C-Drive – the password for that is ‘Y2K’. The password to D-Drive is ‘CIH’. Everyone’s eyes widen – is Woo Hyun giving them proof right now that he is Hades?
But then Woo Hyun asks Sang Woo to go get his laptop from his office. This particular laptop was provided to him by the bureau, and everyone can verify that it belongs to Kim Woo Hyun, right? (I feel like Woo Hyun’s presenting a magic trick here…) He has Eung Jin open it up, and gives him the exact same passwords for log in, C-Drive and D-Drive. It all matches up perfectly. Hyuk Joo can see his case falling apart right before his eyes.
Obviously, Woo Hyun and Ki Young would know each other the best since both were roommates at the police academy, and both wanted to be in the cyber crimes team.
Meanwhile, Seung Yoon meets with one of the professors at the police academy to ask questions about Ki Young and Woo Hyun. Since she’s going to write an article on cyber crimes, she wanted to know more about these two and their pasts. The professor asks if she knows about the Y2K virus (the Millenium virus that turned 2000 to year 1900) and the CIH virus (a virus that lies dormant until April 26, the day of the Chernobyl disaster). Each virus managed to damage the financial infrastructure and destroy entire hard drives for thousands of PC’s respectively, but these two students were able to stop it easily.
Flashback! Former Woo Hyun barges into their dorm room and wakes Ki Young up. (Daniel! Choi!) He shows Ki Young a virus that infected his computer and deleted his entire D-Drive. It’s a new one, but works very similarly like the CIH virus because it waited until a certain date before attacking. Ki Young rubs the sleepiness from his eyes – so it does work! Woo Hyun turns on his best friend – so it was Ki Young who planted it in his computer?
Ki Young stutters – he didn’t know if it would really work! Ha, as if that excuse would work. Ki Young makes a run for the door but Woo Hyun tackles him onto the bed, twists his arm back and sits on top of him. “Recover my D-Drive!” he yells. “Get me back my 30-page research paper!” Ki Young cries out that Woo Hyun planted a Y2K virus in his computer before, and broke it! Eye for an eye! Arm twist for a… tickle?! Yep – guess Woo Hyun’s weakness is that he’s ticklish!
Back to the present. Hyuk Joo accepts that the two of them probably shared the same passwords, but he doesn’t understand how the Present-Woo Hyun had access to Hades’ virus. Woo Hyun: “I copied it when I accessed Hades’ laptop to analyze it.” And he didn’t tell anyone about it because he knew he’d be under suspicion like right now. Smooth.
Hyuk Joo blusters about that Woo Hyun is lying, so Woo Hyun turns the tables on him – if Hyuk Joo had access to an illegal virus that would put him under scrutiny, but could also stop a killer and stop a nuclear explosion, would he use it? What’s more important – saving lives, or saving his own skin?
Slightly abashed, Hyuk Joo sits down quietly. But now Chief Shin really wants to know what Hyuk Joo has to say in response. Chief Shin believes that everyone in the room would have done what Woo Hyun did. Since Woo Hyun’s story checks out (by their standards), no one wants to conduct an investigation on him.
Suddenly they have a new guest – it’s the Police Commissioner! And he just so happens to be here to congratulate Woo Hyun on a job well done and give him an award for Cyber Security. What in the what? How random is it that all of a sudden they hand out awards like this? It feels like someone pulled some strings to publicly embarrass Hyuk Joo in front of his superiors. (Not that I mind… but it’s still random…)
Everyone files out of the room until only Woo Hyun and Hyuk Joo are left. Hyuk Joo admits defeat to his much stronger opponent, but he still has one more question – what does ‘SINCE1999′ stand for? Woo Hyun replies that it was when he applied to be in the Cyber Crimes team. But 1999 is also when Ki Young mysteriously quit the academy.
On that evening’s news, a report comes out on the recent DDOS attack’s effect on the stock market. Every company’s stocks had gone down, except for Safe Tech, a company specializing in Internet vaccine programs. Its stocks have understandably gone up since it’s a major player in internet security. But what makes this business report more relevant to our drama here is that Safe Tech is going to be merging with Sekang Securities.
Safe Tech gets money; Sekang gets a better Internet security system. Win-Win.
Jo Hyun Min visits the grave of his father, Jo Kyung Moon, who died in 1999. He asks his father to watch over him as he lives his life never trusting anyone, and throwing away people who end up being useless to him. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out here.
Hyun Min then heads over to Safe Tech to visit their headquarters. He passes several employees and other department heads during his tour – and one of them is Vans Man! Otherwise known as Yeom Jae Hee, as he doesn’t wear Vans to work. When Hyun Min finally has a solitary moment on a balcony, he meets with Jae Hee for an update. Safe Tech has been receiving a lot of calls from government organizations and large companies over their security system – but not from the military. Looks like Hyun Min’s target right now is to get the military under Safe Tech’s wing.
Dae Young group also reported to Jae Hee that during their attack on Daehan Electric, they went up against Hades. However, according to the police it seems that it was Woo Hyun who stopped the hacking. Well that’s interesting news for Hyun Min.
The entire team gathers in the awards ceremony room with a bunch of reporters, waiting for the ceremony to begin. We even have a new mysterious lady come into the fold – Gu Yeon Joo, a reporter who probably has an ice-cold heart to match her sharp, chic bob. Woo Hyun is still in his room, reminiscing about the days when he was still Ki Young and hanging out with Woo Hyun at the academy.
Flashback again! Ki Young had fiddled around with Woo Hyun’s ‘Melissa Virus’. The Melissa Virus would send viral emails to 50 random people in his contact list if his computer were to be infected. Ki Young’s modified virus, called ‘Personal Information Leakage Virus’, would send random 50 files or documents from the infected computer to his own computer. So if Ki Young wanted to know what was in Woo Hyun’s mailbox, he would infect Woo Hyun’s computer with the PIL Virus and get the information.
Woo Hyun warns him never to send him that virus, and then heads off to bed. But as soon as Woo Hyun falls asleep, Ki Young gets curious. He checks out Woo Hyun’s address book and finds Woo Hyun’s father’s email address. Since Mr. Kim is a chief in the National Police, he ought to have something interesting. He sends the virus as a word document on the National Police Agency’s human resource affairs, and then waits for Mr. Kim to open the attachment and unleash the virus.
Several days later, Ki Young checks his email and sees that he got 50 random emails from Mr. Kim’s computer. His virus worked! Ki Young excitedly clicks on a file marked ‘Top Secret’ and opens it up.
Mr. Kim had written up a report on Sekang Securities investigating the company’s political slush fund. [Insert sudden “Phantom of the Opera” theme here.] Ki Young can’t believe what he’s reading, and he quickly hides it from view when Woo Hyun approaches him. He doesn’t tell his best friend what’s going on, but instead tries to make a quick exit. Unfortunately, they hear police sirens approaching the school, and they’re coming for Ki Young.
Absolutely bewildered, Woo Hyun watches as Ki Young is dragged away like a criminal to the police station. He’s forced to wait for a long time before one of the investigators comes in with his laptop. He wants Ki Young to open it up with his password. Ki Young refuses, as the investigators don’t have a warrant and no reason to hold him there. The investigator resorts to threatening him: if Woo Hyun wants to be a police officer, he can’t have a criminal record. Therefore he ought to just type in the password and make things easier for everyone involved.
Ki Young still refuses, and finally Mr. Kim enters the interrogation room. He orders the investigator to leave so that he and Ki Young can have a private chat. Mr. Kim is surprisingly calm, and he only wants to know if Ki Young saw the report on Sekang Securities’ slush fund case. Ki Young did, but he didn’t copy the file or show it to anyone else – including Woo Hyun. He then realizes that Mr. Kim had made up that report so as to cover the true criminal and mislead the agency into investigating an innocent person.
Mr. Kim is ready to resign from his position, as he has no regrets on the matter anymore. However Ki Young encourages him to reveal the truth to everyone – he could go through the newspapers and media! Mr. Kim: “I was like you once, thinking that the truth would prevail. But it’s not true.” Ki Young: “Mr. Kim, you’re a policeman! A policeman should always reveal the truth!”
That just goes to show how Ki Young’s philosophy differs so great from Mr. Kim and Woo Hyun’s. He will go and expose the truth if Mr. Kim can’t. He’s not one to just sit back and pretend nothing happened in front of his eyes. However, when Ki Young later calls up news agencies about the scoop, no one believes him. For his actions, Ki Young also quits the academy, and he tells Woo Hyun that he simply wavered in his resolve to become a policeman, and that’s why he’s leaving. In the raaiiinnn… He never wants to be a policeman.
Back to the present – and Woo Hyun receives the award for his work in stopping a nuclear blow up and being an outstanding policeman. Guess things never really work out as planned for Ki Young, eh?
Hyuk Joo is seething, and in the privacy of Director Jun’s office, he tells Jun that he truly believes Ki Young is now pretending to be Woo Hyun. He suspects Woo Hyun in the context of wanting to solve the Shin Hyo Jung case, but Director Jun suspects Woo Hyun for a totally different reason.
He gives Ki Young a file. A representative of the small CK Company had died from overwork apparently. Woo Hyun is linked to that case, and Director Jun is trying to figure out why. We see the Phantom file again – CK Company’s representative was the victim who was poisoned by an alcoholic drink by Hyun Min and Woo Hyun.
Meanwhile, Chief Shin congratulates Woo Hyun in his office for a job well done. Yeon Joo enters, interrupting this meeting, and Chief Shin greets her like a daughter. Chief Shin reminds Woo Hyun to greet her, which suggests that old-Woo Hyun knew who she was. Too bad new-Woo Hyun doesn’t recognize her at all. Yeon Joo had left for Paris as a correspondent, but now came back to Korea after receiving a promotion and getting a position within the police department.
That evening, Kang Mi drives Woo Hyun back home. He’s not interested in the award, even though he’s the first criminal ever to be awarded by the police, and leaves it in Kang Mi’s car. He doesn’t even thank her for the ride home, and I love watching Kang Mi get all pissy over how mannerless new-Woo Hyun is.
Woo Hyun enters his apartment to find the lights all on. There are heels by the front door. Who…? He walks into his bedroom – Yeon Joo is fixing up his bed. She notes that he’s a lot more messy now. Woo Hyun asks who she really is, and how she entered. “You didn’t change the passcode,” she says. Despite his recent accident, she finds it odd that Woo Hyun doesn’t recognize her at all, especially since they used to date.
Whaaaaat!? So old-Woo Hyun not only had an ex-wife and son, but he had the hots for Kang Mi and dated a reporter?! Slightly disappointed by his lack of response, she leaves to head back to the police department. As she exits his apartment building, she passes by Kang Mi, who wants to return Woo Hyun’s award back to him.
Yeon Joo heads back into her car and makes a call to none other than Hyun Min. She lied to Woo Hyun about having dated before (ok, whew!), but he still didn’t seem to recognize her.
Hyun Min: Is it that he didn’t regain all of his memories yet, or is it that he’s not Kim Woo Hyun?
Just when you think one threat of being discovered is over, another one pops up! Then again, Hyun Min did notice something was off with new-Woo Hyun from the start, but now he has Yeon Joo confirm it for him.
I was surprised that they addressed the possibility of Woo Hyun being Ki Young in front of the entire cyber team so soon, since that is usually a plot saved for later episodes. The good thing about this plot point coming up so soon is that if anyone in the team had doubts or suspicions towards Woo Hyun, they’ve been effectively removed. For most of the team, Woo Hyun’s explanations on how he knew Hades’ programs and passwords are, to quote Sang Woo, perfectly reasonable.
This plot point also allowed us to delve deeper into the Ki Young character. Before we can follow Ki Young-Woo Hyun any further in this series, we need to understand him better as a character and understand why he became a hacker rather than a police man. It’s no wonder that he called his newspaper company “True Story” in the attempt to expose the corruption within the government. Knowing about Ki Young’s past just showed us that there’s a greater conspiracy than just the one surrounding Shin Hyo Jung’s death. She unfortunately got herself entangled in a situation that involves the financial and political sectors of Korea, and appears to have spanned two generations. It actually makes me excited that Woo Hyun is not just trying to catch a killer anymore; he’s trying to catch a criminal mastermind. That’s way more fun than in Sign, where the protagonists are trying to catch a killer.
Yeon Joo’s character is quite interesting because her connection to everyone is rife with potential. She’s working for Hyun Min, but she claims to have dated Woo Hyun. Clearly Woo Hyun knew her, and I wonder if she was the go between for him and Hyun Min, especially since it’s unlikely he can go travel and see Dae Young group. I’m curious to see what kind of problems she’s going to cause for Kang Mi and Woo Hyun – and no, I don’t care for what she’ll do on the romantic front!
- Ghost: Episode 5
- Ghost: Episode 4
- Ghost: Episode 3
- Ghost: Episode 2
- Ghost: Episode 1
- Find the hidden message in Ghost’s posters
- So Ji-sub and Lee Yeon-hee shoot Ghost title sequence