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Cyber
URL, Interrupted
URL Interrupted
Season 1
Number 7
Writer Kate Sargeant Curtis
Director Kate Dennis
Original Airdate April 21, 2015
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Previous Episode: The Evil Twin
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URL, Interrupted is the seventh episode in the Season One of CSI: Cyber.

Synopsis[]

The cyber team investigates when a high school victim of intense cyberbullying by her classmates pledges to retaliate.

Plot[]

Spoofing - a device or program is manipulated to masquerade as another.

News outlets report on the case of high school student Zoey Tan, who has been missing for two days. Avery gets a call from Zoey's father, Jordan. Zoey sent him a photo of her along with a message reading: "I'm sorry, Dad. Don't know what else to do. It's all too much. I love you. Goodbye." Krumitz pulls GPS coordinates from the metadata that place Zoey in Rock Creek Park, a local park in Washington, D.C.

Police cadets and scent dogs search the area, eventually finding Zoey's discarded cell phone. The phone is out of battery; upon getting enough of a charge to turn on, it requires a password to unlock it that Jordan doesn't know. Jordan suddenly gets a call from his daughter, but it doesn't last long. Oddly enough, her cell phone wasn't the one doing the calling. Avery has Jordan call the number back, and Zoey's phone displays the call. Since Zoey doesn't have two phones, Avery concludes that her phone was spoofed.

There's no other evidence of Zoey in the park as of yet. Avery reveals to Elijah that Jordan was a former patient of hers when she had her therapy practice. They stayed in touch after she lost the practice, and he came to her after his wife died. Because of this, she believes Jordan has nothing to do with his daughter's disappearance. He soon tells Avery that Zoey showed no signs of suicidal thoughts or depression; in fact, she was getting straight "A"s in her classes.

In Zoey's bedroom, Raven comes across a tablet whose screen has been smashed. Elijah finds it odd that there are no pictures of her friends or family anywhere in the room. Suddenly, Zoey's laptop activates on its own as if someone moved a mouse. This leads to the conclusion that someone is controlling her devices, and Elijah covers the laptop's camera before things escalate further.

Krumitz determines that whoever spoofed Zoey's phone did it through a spoofing website that anyone with an Internet connection can access. Since one has to input their phone number to make the call, there should be a record of the inputs. Meanwhile, Nelson goes through the metadata on the photo Zoey sent her father and discovers that she took the picture at Rock Creek Park with her digital camera—four months ago. More importantly, the photo never existed on her phone. Nelson goes through all 972 photos on the phone and is unable to find the photo in question; furthermore, there's no record of the text she sent her father. Zoey's phone had been dead for a few days; however, the photo was sent two hours before the phone was discovered. The question still remains: where is Zoey Tan?

Elijah relays to Avery that someone was watching Zoey through the camera in her laptop. The laptop was infected with a backdoor Trojan that allows the user to access and control it. A foreign IP address was found in her network logs that the team is tracking down. Raven alerts them to a website that started three months ago called "KillYourselfZoeyTan.com." Several users around Zoey's age encouraged her to commit suicide, and the camera on her laptop caught her in a compromising position in her bedroom. The cyberbully posted Zoey's journal entries and private photos everywhere on the Web, perhaps driving her to suicide.

Jordan is alerted to the website and is upset that Zoey didn't mention that she was being bullied. He soon reveals to Avery that he started dating a woman this year, something Zoey was uncomfortable with. He ended the relationship, focusing on the happiness of his daughter first and foremost.

Forensic analysis of Zoey's computer hard drive reveals deleted messages from her FriendAgenda page. The messages indicate that she was having an online relationship with an Owen Campbell that started about five months ago. Zoey apparently deleted the messages so her father wouldn't find out. The last message Owen sent her was the day before she went missing; it encouraged her to leave everything behind and start a new life with him.

Owen is located at his North Carolina home and brought in for questioning. He claims that he barely knows Zoey, as he moved from Washington to North Carolina three years ago. Online communications seem to prove otherwise, but Owen says that he didn't send the messages in question. Furthermore, the FriendAgenda page he used to send the message isn't even his actual page. Zoey was catfished by someone pretending to Owen on FriendAgenda; they stole his photos, faked an account, and lured Zoey into an online relationship. Owen soon reveals that Zoey showed up at his house that morning and got upset when she was pushed away. He doesn't know where she went afterwards and doesn't recall seeing her driving away in a car.

Since Zoey's relationship with the fake Owen started five months ago and she started getting bullied two months later, there has to be a connection. They're looking for someone who wants to ruin Zoey's life by isolating her from her friends and family and pushing her over the edge.

Krumitz is able to locate the target's computer, discovering that the node the cyberbully used is somewhere in Zoey's high school. Meanwhile, Raven maps the network and determines which kids are consistently instigating new conversations. Suddenly, a new video with the hashtag #RunFromZoey is posted by Zoey herself. In it, she says she knows who started the website and is giving that person 24 hours to come forward—or else. Zoey has become a vigilante hunting her cyberbully.

Raven finds a pattern in her cluster graph: as soon as a new post appears on the cyberbullying page, there are 12 teens who consistently send out the link or comment on it using a Twitter-like channel called ToggleFly. If Zoey believes that one of these "first responders" is her bully, they all need to be identified before she enacts revenge. Raven provides the screennames of the 12 teens, and Simon recognizes one of them as his son, Aaron. When confronted by his father in school, Aaron says that he participated in the "joke" because everyone else was doing it. He then calls Zoey "crazy" and shows his father a video of her taking target practice with a rifle. The fear now is that she may come back to the school armed and start shooting.

Krumitz heads to the high school and is able to identify the computer the cyberbully used in the library. He informs Nelson that he swapped out the computer with a decoy and installed a wiretap on the system. Whenever the bully uses the computer to update the cyberbullying website, the team will know.

A signal is picked up from the tablet Zoey used to upload her video. Avery and Elijah eventually hone in on the signal and give chase to an erratic driver through the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina. The situation escalates when it's learned that Zoey used her father's credit card and purchased ammunition at a local store 30 minutes ago. When the car she's supposedly driving is cornered, it's being driven by a middle-aged woman who is clearly not Zoey; the tablet is sitting on the front passenger's seat.

The driver recognizes Zoey from her photo, saying that she returned the woman's lost tablet at a coffee shop earlier that day. Avery theorizes that a desperate Zoey needed to get online. She stole the tablet when the woman wasn't looking and uploaded her video. Perhaps feeling guilty, she then returned the tablet to the coffee shop claiming that someone had lost it.

Avery analyzes Zoey's patterns of life for some event that would reveal her cyberbully; however, the attempt is unsuccessful. The thought is that since Zoey didn't address the bully specifically in her video, she doesn't know who it is. She's on the same search as the FBI, only she's armed and feeling an overwhelming sense of humiliation and anger. Just then, she posts another video to ToggleFly along with a message: "You should think twice about cyberbullying. Especially if your dad works for the FBI." The video shown was taken from Aaron's computer without his knowledge; she's gotten revenge with a "cyber bomb" and is trying to do psychological damage to Aaron. Avery figures that Zoey stole someone else's device to post the update, so it needs to be tracked down.

Nine of the 12 first responders on the website go to Zoey's school, and their real names are accessed. Only one of those students has access to the library between noon and 1 PM, which is when almost all of the updates were posted to the website. Jennifer Mayfield is brought in for questioning, and she claims that she and Zoey have been friends since preschool. From her body language, Avery deduces that Jennifer was betrayed; Zoey made private conversations between the two public. However, Jennifer insists that she didn't start the website. Soon, she gets an update about a photo Zoey uploaded to ToggleFly; it's of Jennifer changing her clothes in the privacy of her own bedroom. The photo was taken by the camera on Jennifer's computer.

As expected, both Aaron and Jennifer had backdoor Trojans installed on their computers. The same foreign IP address was found on both devices, and it links to the computer that was confiscated from the library. Furthermore, the origin of Zoey's posts on ToggleFly also originated from the same computer. Because the computer was wiretapped and no suspicious activity was found on it, it's determined that the whoever hacked into Aaron and Jennifer's computers also hijacked Zoey's ToggleFly account. The target has been doing all of this without physical access to the library. Since they had to have connected to the high school's network in order to spoof the computer, the device that did the spoofing is still at the school—as is the cyberbully.

Elijah collects fingerprints from the tablet Zoey "borrowed" to send out her video. One print stands out, and it's found that she used a travel app to map a route to Chesapeake Bay. Based on this, Avery knows where Zoey is going. Jordan mentions that they used to have a cabin in the area before his wife passed away. On the way there, Avery starts putting two and two together. The cyberbully lured Zoey to Owen, dropped her phone in the park, and spoofed her phone—all so they could send Jordan the suicide text and the mysterious phone call. Avery concludes that Jordan has been the victim all along.

Raven captures the MAC address of the computer being used at the school, which leads to the IP address being identified. The target is identified as school counselor Arianna Peterson, who just happens to be the woman Jordan dumped to make his daughter happy. It's revealed that she updated Zoey's cyberbullying page 20 minutes ago from the computer in her office. Elijah informs her that she made one mistake: using a burner phone to text Jordan. When she connected the phone to her computer for the first time, a digital trace was left behind. She plugged the phone in minutes before she texted Jordan.

When Jordan ended their relationship, she decided to get revenge by torturing him. The call to Zoey's phone in Rock Creek Park was just to hear the fear in his voice. A few weeks after the breakup, she started catfishing Zoey, drawing her into a fake relationship with Owen. Her hope is that with Zoey happy, she would allow her father to be happy, as well. When this failed, she hacked Zoey's computer and started the cyberbullying page to torment her. Arianna tells Elijah that she wanted Jordan to suffer just like she did, and the best way to hurt a father is to hurt his child. Elijah places her under arrest for cyber fraud and aggravated stalking.

As Avery and Jordan approach the cabin in Chesapeake Bay, they're alerted to the sound of a gunshot. They roll up on an old car and soon find Zoey on the ground bleeding from a gunshot wound to the leg. As she begins to lose consciousnesses, she tells her father that "she wasn't going to." Avery looks around the area and pieces together the evidence. Based on the tire tracks and a hole in the trunk made by the rifles inside, Avery determines that Zoey had second thoughts. A flashback shows her driving away from the cabin with the rifles in the trunk; however, she wrestled with her emotions and got out of the car. She was unable to open the old, rusty trunk, and her constant jostling of the car led to the rifle being accidentally fired.

Zoey posts another video from her hospital bed in which she says that she'll be getting off of social media for a while. She informs her cyberbullies that words are weapons that can be used to destroy someone's life. Her hope is that people will learn to be more careful with how they use those words.

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Byron Mann as Jordan Tan
  • Ashley Jones as Arianna Peterson
  • Booboo Stewart as Owen Campbell
  • Irene Choi as Zoey Tan
  • Nathan Gamble as Aaron Sifter
  • Ana Mulvoy-Ten as Jennifer Mayfield
  • Mike DeRosa as Adam
  • Roxanne Beckford as Isabella
  • Mike DeRosa as Adam
  • Brandon Ford Green as Det. Felix Garcia
  • Kriz Chris Henri Harriz as Private Investigator
  • Alysson Da Silva as Civilian

Episode Title[]

  • The title of the episode is a take on the 1999 movie Girl, Interrupted. The psychological drama film had a star-studded cast that included Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie and Whoopi Goldberg.

Trivia[]

See Also[]

CSI:Cyber Season 1
Kidnapping 2.0CMND:\CrashKiller En RouteFire CodeCrowd SourcedThe Evil TwinURL, InterruptedSelfie 2.0L0m1sClick Your PoisonGhost in the MachineBit by BitFamily Secrets


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