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The software exploit code actually delivered onto the laptop was not HBGary's concern; it needed only to provide a route through the computer's front door. But it had some constraints. First, the laptop owner should still be able to use the port so as not to draw attention to the inserted hardware. This is quite obviously tricky, but one could imagine a tiny ExpressCard device that slid down into the slot but could in turn accept another ExpressCard device on its exterior-facing side. This sort of parallel plugging might well go unnoticed by a user with no reason to suspect it.
HBGary's computer infiltration code then had to avoid the computer's own electronic defenses. The code should "not be detectable" by virus scanners or operating system port scans, and it should clean up after itself to eliminate all traces of entry.
Greg Hoglund was confident that he could deliver at least two laptop-access techniques in less than a kilobyte of memory each. As the author of books like Exploiting Software: How to Break Code, Rootkits: Subverting the Windows Kernel, and Exploiting Online Games: Cheating Massively Distributed Systems, he knew his way around the deepest recesses of Windows in particular.
Hoglund's special interest was in all-but-undetectable computer "rootkits," programs that provide privileged access to a computer's innermost workings while cloaking themselves even from standard operating system functions. A good rootkit can be almost impossible to remove from a running machine—if you could even find it in the first place.