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Cyber
Why-Fi
CSI CYBER WHY-FI
Season 2
Number 1
Writer Pam Veasey
Director Alec Smight
Original Airdate October 4, 2015
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Previous Episode: Family Secrets
Next Episode: Heart Me

Why-Fi is the first episode in Season Two of CSI: Cyber.

Synopsis[]

Avery and Russell investigate a murder caught on motion-detection cameras. Meanwhile, Krumitz attends court as his sister is tried for murder.

Plot[]

War driving - hijacking connections to wireless networks broadcast in residential or commercial areas.

In Georgetown, Washington, D.C., a young girl obeys an unseen voice and starts rearranging furniture in her house. It's revealed that the house was burglarized; a broken, bloodied phone is found at the crime scene belonging to homeowner Scott Barrett. According to his employer, Scott was on vacation and wasn't at home at the time of the robbery. The new director of Next-Gen Forensics, D.B. Russell, questions who would go on vacation and leave their phone behind.

Krumitz discovers that house's security system was hacked; despite the system being armed, no alarm was triggered during the robbery. Logs from the security company, P-TECH, show an incoming command to disarm the system that didn't come from the home keypad or an app. Therefore, someone disarmed the alarm remotely from their own device without being detected.

In the burglarized house, Russell spots a glob of something on the kitchen counter that contains fingerprint ridge detail. He also sees evidence that furniture was recently moved. The only items reported stolen are a couple of watches and a tablet. Avery believes that something is off, wondering why a hacker would hack into a sophisticated security system just to commit petty theft. Russell notices that someone recently vacuumed part of the living room and apparently missed a spot. He spots a robotic vacuum in the corner and tells Avery that this newer model has memory, allowing it to recall the layout of the room and maneuver around certain obstacles the next time it vacuums the room. Russell pours coffee grounds on the floor and has the vacuum trace its last cycle. When finished, the outline of a body is seen. The questions now are: who's the victim and where's the body?

DNA from the blood and tissue on the broken phone match the saliva on the mouthpiece; all three match a hair recovered from a brush at the crime scene. The phone belongs to Scott, who was not on vacation as was previously thought. He's likely the victim, and the theory is that he came home, surprised the burglar, and lost the ensuing fight.

Krumitz is able to download photos and text messages from the broken phone. One of the text messages is from Scott's ex-wife, Ellen; it reveals that Scott had to postpone his vacation in order to look after his six-year-old daughter, Rae. Ellen had been on a business trip out of the country that got extended, and she needed Scott to cover for her.

Russell recalls the glob he saw earlier on the kitchen counter and notes that it was peanut butter. He realizes that Rae was making herself a sandwich, meaning that she's still in the house. Rae is eventually found hiding in a bedroom closet, which she had been instructed to do if she saw any strange people in the house.

Rae is brought to headquarters and brings her doll, Marla, with her. She reveals that she got dropped off from a sleepover, entered through an unlocked door, made herself a sandwich, and fell asleep in her "closet fort." Raven discovers that seven more P-TECH security burglaries have occurred in the last week and a half. In each case, the system was shut down remotely and the points of entry couldn't be identified. Russell remembers something else he saw at the scene, having focused on a window latch. When asked, Rae says that she unlocked the back window of the house because "Marla told her to." Marla also told Rae to go into her father's room, something she wasn't supposed to do.

Nelson and Raven determine that the last thing Scott did before dying was play an instructional golf video game. The gaming console has a 3D mapping system that captures images of the room the user is in and turns everything into a 2D depth image. While the user is playing, the console records and saves the last 20 minutes of gameplay. Elijah recalls that he found the console in "power on" mode, which means it captured the last 20 minutes of Scott's life. A re-creation of those events shows someone entering Scott's house and attacking him with the golf club he was using; the club is now missing. The intruder is estimated to be a right-handed 5'10" tall man with long hair.

Scott was using a golf app that syncs with the club, and the club itself was equipped with GPS tracking. The team now knows where the murder weapon is. Elijah and his SWAT team track the club to an abandoned warehouse, where they find it along with the body of Scott Barrett.

Avery notes that Rae's doll instructed her to unlock the window. Raven explains to her that the Marla doll talks by sending audio recordings through the Web to a server; the recordings are then processed into a text. A database is then created so that when the doll responds to a child in the future, it responds with something the child likes. However, someone hacked into the Marla doll, intercepting communication and making the doll say whatever the hacker wanted. Therefore, the hacker instructed Rae to unlock the window by using the doll.

Nelson explains that in order for the hacker to carry this out, he needed to hack into the Wi-Fi. This was done via a process called "war driving," in which the hacker sat outside the targeted house and spoofed the DHCP address of the router in order to connect to the doll. Unfortunately, the only digital evidence the hacker left behind was the MAC address of the device he used, something that makes him very hard to track.

Since the items stolen from the houses weren't of much value, Avery deduces that the hacker is after a bigger payday. He's sitting on two exploits (one for V-TECH, one for the Marla doll) worth at least $200,000 each; these companies will pay him to keep him quiet and stop the intrusions. The houses were broken into just to prove that the exploits really work. Avery notes that a hacker rarely exposes himself to the real world, meaning the team is looking for two people—a hacker and a thief. The hacker used the doll to case the house, then outsourced the burglary to someone else. Unfortunately, someone was murdered in the process. Just then, we see the thief calling the hacker, much to the hacker's disapproval.

The locations of the murder and the dump site are both known. On his way from the Barrett's house to the warehouse, the killer's cell phone would've pinged any cell towers along that route. Operating under the assumption that the killer used the most direct path to get to the warehouse, phone numbers are retrieved from the towers around the times of Scott's death and the subsequent drive. Four phones pinged off of both towers in that area around that time, one of which belongs to a Lonnie Swaine, who has priors for breaking and entering. Elijah and his SWAT team head to Lonnie's place, where they find him on the floor suffering badly from a stab would to the abdomen. Two cell phones are seen getting destroyed in a blender.

Lonnie matches the basic description of Scott's killer that was pulled from the depth image taken by the game console; however, this won't be enough to get a court conviction. The assumption is that the hacker tried to kill Lonnie, upset that their plan went sideways after Lonnie killed Scott. Elijah asks why the hacker didn't just go to the companies with his exploits after the first three burglaries, but Avery responds that the hacker needed to keep going in order to keep the companies scared.

One phone in Lonnie's blender belongs to Lonnie himself, while the other is a burner phone that likely belongs to the hacker. Nelson and Raven piece the broken phones together, and Nelson excitedly tells Avery that he knows how to prove the burner phone is the hacker's. The motion processor data in the phone measures the phone's movement, and the chip inside can sense the tiniest vibrations. Based on patterns, Nelson concludes that the hacker was typing; the burner phone was sitting next to the keyboard and inadvertently recording vibrations. Every keystroke provides coordinates similar to locations on a map. From this, Nelson determines exactly what the hacker was typing—including his email address. The hacker is tracked down and arrested. As he's hauled to the squad car, he tells Elijah that he was "doing the companies a favor" by exposing flaws in their systems. Elijah has a simple response: "Was it worth it?"


In a separate storyline, Krumitz has to deal with the ramifications of his sister killing Taylor Pettis, the man who killed their parents. Krumitz tells Nelson that Taylor was stalking his sister; therefore, the shooting was in self-defense.

When testifying in court, Krumitz is shown tower dump records that prove that his sister was actually stalking Taylor, not the other way around. Outside of the courtroom, she basically admits to her brother that she's guilty of premediated murder. Before being taken away in handcuffs, she asks for one thing—she wants her brother to be happy and forget that any of this ever happened.

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]

  • Angela Trimbur as Francine Krumitz
  • McKenna Roberts as Rae
  • Molly Burnett as Nina Moore
  • Greg Cromer as John Fable
  • Tiffany Adams as Defense Attorney
  • Ione Butler as Ellen Peters
  • Elyse Cole as Young Francine
  • Landall Goolsby as Harlan
  • Brian Groh as Lonnie
  • John Patrick Kelly as Judge
  • Serendipity Lilliana as Harlan's Daughter
  • Shiloh Nelson as Lindy
  • Zakary Risinger as Harlan's son
  • Shane Francis Smith as Young Krumitz

Music[]

  • Contact by Grabbitz
  • Save the Day by Underglow

Notes[]

  • Ted Danson joins the cast as D.B. Russell, replacing Peter MacNicol (Simon Sifter). Avery mentions that Simon was promoted to a new position and that she's under consideration to take his place.
  • Nelson is seen dressing casually when in the office, quite a difference from his attire in Season One.
  • At the end of the episode, Avery reconfigures the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list. The new name at the top is someone who uses the handle "Python," who Avery tells Russell is the most notorious drug dealer on the Deep Web. Catching Python would be the main focus in the episode appropriately titled Python, and he would also appear in the episode Python's Revenge.
  • Elijah confides in bartender Nina Moore, who figures prominently into a major Season Two plotline.

See Also[]

CSI:Cyber Season 2
Why-FiHeart MeBrown Eyes, Blue EyesRed CroneHack E.R.Gone in 6 SecondsCorrupted MemoryPythoniWitnessShades of Grey404: Flight Not FoundGoing ViralThe Walking DeadFit-and-RunPython's Revenge5 Deadly SinsFlash SquadLegacy
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