Example Hacking (What is wrong?)

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CoalPoweredPuppet CoalPoweredPuppet's picture
Example Hacking (What is wrong?)

Demon, a Tech Support NPC has been ego napped by Nine Lives and forced to act as their on-site hacker. He is stored in an imfomorph on a Ghostrider Module implanted into one of the Nine Lives enforces.

A Nine Lives crew is conducting nefarious business when security agents attack. Demon has already infiltrated the local mesh (that of this section of the habitat) via the slow hacking method, but the enforcers order him to attack the security forces. Demon begins his brute force hacking.

First action will be to Sniff for a wireless connection to a security forces. Afterlocating it, he tries to brek in.

He has InfoSec 50, a +10 exploit program, and a muse assisting. Because he is rushing the job (-30 in this case) and Speed 3 (-20% time to complete a task), the job will take 10 turns. As an informoprh, he cannot have Mental Speed. After 10 turns, he rolls his InfoSec 50 plus 10, and gains access to one security guards mesh, and has a Locked status. The Security force have all of their personal devices slaved to their mesh inserts.

Next turn, he rolls InfoSec to subvert this security's Smart Link, forcing the user to shoot a friend. Next action he does it again, and on his last action, ejects the weapon's magazine (each action requiring a roll with a modifier)

Did I get this right?

Lazarus Lazarus's picture
The first problem I see is

The first problem I see is that the security force should be operating under a VPN (EP p. 260). Yeah, they can't update their social profiles while they're in the middle of a firefight (actually, they can, but then that exposes them to Infiltration) but why would they want to do that anyway? Also, they probably would be using stealthed signals (EP p. 252) and have their muses performing active monitoring (EP. p. 253) of their systems. Hacking is so common in the world of EP that not using a VPN is about like not wearing body armor. If you're kicking around at home that's all fine and dandy, but for a security force that is 'on duty'? That's almost criminally negligent.

The next thing that jumps out at me is that you are making hacking 'too powerful' (it's a common problem and not just you). You can't just make a user shoot someone because they have a smartlink. A smartlink puts up brackets around a target in your entopics along with information like range. There is nothing in the description that implies it has any actual ability to control a weapon itself (although it can be used to configure flux ammo and seeker triggers) so it cannot make a weapon fire or even prevent a weapon from firing. Even if it was capable of making a weapon discharge people with proper weapon's training do not point their guns at people they don't want to shoot. It's one of the earliest things drilled into you. Even if you have to transverse to another target you are suppose to raise or lower your weapon so it is not pointed at anyone (N.B.: I'm not saying everyone with weapon's training does this, just that it's what you are suppose to do).

Most likely the hacker could probably only apply a penalty to hit. If two people were really close together (like one person holding the other hostage) he might be able to offset the aim enough that the wrong person gets shot, but otherwise that's about it. I can't even locate anything that supports the idea that a smartlink can eject a magazine (I'm not saying it doesn't exist in the various books, but I can't locate it right now).

My artificially intelligent spaceship is psychic. Your argument it invalid.

CoalPoweredPuppet CoalPoweredPuppet's picture
Hrm

I did not mean to say he just had the smartlink shoot some one else, though, after re-reading the post, that is exact what I said. I meant to say that the hacker adjusted the smartlink so the shooter thought he was aiming at one target but was really aiming at some one else.

I agree with you on the penalty only bit. I think changing the bonus to a penalty would be more fun (-10 to shooting instead of a +10) and better balanced.

I think I got the smartlink ejecting the magazine from Shadowrun.

Benny89 Benny89's picture
CoalPoweredPuppet wrote:I did

CoalPoweredPuppet wrote:
I did not mean to say he just had the smartlink shoot some one else, though, after re-reading the post, that is exact what I said. I meant to say that the hacker adjusted the smartlink so the shooter thought he was aiming at one target but was really aiming at some one else.

I agree with you on the penalty only bit. I think changing the bonus to a penalty would be more fun (-10 to shooting instead of a +10) and better balanced.

I think I got the smartlink ejecting the magazine from Shadowrun.

Smartlink does not replace visual. It just adds let's say a more "video game" visual thing. If you wanted for someone to see that he aim at B, but he aims at A really it would require at least a hack of his whole Tactical Network or Cyberbrain and use AR Illusions. Smartlink is not enough for something like that.

Generally don't think about hacking in EP like combat hacking in Ghost in The Shell etc. It doesn't work that way. It has very very little value in actual combat unless you pre-hack enemies much earlier and prepare things like worms, viruses with triggers, hack their Tactial Network early etc.

Sure you can hack someone mesh inserts and use it in various ways but it takes super long time. In 99% of cases your party combat monster will finish fight 3 times before you finish that hack.

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
If you want to compromise

If you want to compromise active militant forces with hacking skills you have to have a backdoor or other form of sidestepping VPN encryption and firewall. Otherwise you have to be Posthuman superhaker to do it in a few rounds. As for shooting each other, after you break into the tacnet you can attack members' mesh inserts which would take another 10 minutes or 1 minute and then apply VR illusions to make soldiers believe enemies are in their friends places.

So for an pretty good infosec user he would have to prehack a security force member mesh inserts then when shit goes down use the backdoor to activate the illusions and try to disrupt the enemy's tacnet.

If it is possible gang like 9 lives could buy a backdoor from an independent party and provide it to the demon

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Xagroth Xagroth's picture
In short: Combat hacking is

In short: Combat hacking is all about running the tricks you prepared beforehand. So your hacker will need some alone time (or with the help of the rest of the group) to locate and plant its backdoors, that might get picked on the next "health checkup" of the unit (so you can't plant months beforehand).

Emily Brown Emily Brown's picture
Thanks for discussed here

Thanks for discussed here about Example Hacking.

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Chase Chase's picture
For those suggesting hacking

For those suggesting hacking in EP can't be Ghost-in-the-Shell style or effective in the middle of a fight: Combat hacking is absolutely possible. It's been discussed elsewhere (http://eclipsephase.com/comment/2512#comment-2512) at length if you're interested in reading about it.

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Chase wrote: Combat hacking

Chase wrote:
Combat hacking is absolutely possible.

Yeah it only takes you to be a system-wide Master Hacker. Usually a Master Hacker of such caliber is accompanied by a Combat Monster that will pump enemies full of bullets before you are able to hack anything.
Brute-force is an Action Time definitely but not Combat Rounds. Anybody seeing a Brute-force incoming and not shutting down their mesh is asking for it (since theoretically you are as likely to get hacked in first round of brute-force and in the last one.

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Chase Chase's picture
CordialUltimate2 wrote:Yeah

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
Yeah it only takes you to be a system-wide Master Hacker.

Not really. You can do it fairly easily with character creation CP: An Infolife background to ease the cost of a high Infosec skill, the Intuitive Cracker trait, a few forks of your muse, and you're well on your way to combat hacking.

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
Usually a Master Hacker of such caliber is accompanied by a Combat Monster that will pump enemies full of bullets before you are able to hack anything.

I didn't say it was optimal for all combat scenarios, I said it was possible. There's also scenarios where a combat hacker can be superior to a Combat Monster such as if the target's in another room that bullets can't get into.

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
Anybody seeing a Brute-force incoming and not shutting down their mesh is asking for it (since theoretically you are as likely to get hacked in first round of brute-force and in the last one.

Actually that's part of what makes brute-force hacking so effective. If the combat hacker gets their opponent to shut down their mesh inserts, their opponent loses their Tacnet, comms, smartlink, and whatever else making them a much less effective combatant. Effectively the hacker has managed to debuff their hack target. It's a different (And in my humble opinion more interesting) way of participating in a combat.

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Now to keep this thread from being derailed:

CoalPoweredPuppet wrote:
As an informoprh, he cannot have Mental Speed.

Informorphs actually can have Mental Speed as an "Upgrade" according to the sidebar in Transhuman pg. 141. So if you wanted to use that in the future for your Demon AGI he could acquire it or use some explanation such as his captors had restricted the software or the like.