Who said running the shadows was easy? Dodging bullets, swords, spirits, and spells just to name a few. Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, even the occasional Dragon can make any Shadowrun go bad.
 
Shadowrun HomeHomeFAQSearchMemberlistUsergroupsRegisterNew RunnersLog in

Share | 
 

 Hacking and commlinks

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Aalith
Team Leader
Team Leader
avatar

Number of posts : 403
Age : 33
Location : Hungary
Registration date : 2011-09-28

Character sheet
Character Name: Tokko Tsuonomi
Race: Elf
Sex: Male

PostSubject: Hacking and commlinks   Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:18 pm

OK, so I read trough every available materials, but I couldn't find the answer. Seems like the core books deliberately evade this question:

If you hack into (on the fly or steal someones link and probe it) someones 'link, can you steal their life??
Lets presume hacking in is a done deal (example: really good hacker vs average wageslave). Now, with every piece of information stored in an average person's 'link (SIN, bank account number, it opens the car, house, lets you buy in stores, cost automatically deducted, mail, your friends' and coworkers' numbers etc.) you can practically rob them blind? I mean it's like loosing your wallet, credit cards, ID-s, keys, mobile(s) simultaneously.

You all know what's this about, so I'll just say it: what's stopping the hacker characters to sit down somewhere near people, hack 2-3 'links, transfer all their money into a shadow bank (there are rules for that in unwired, practically untraceable), leave, change 'link ID, retrieve the money? You could "earn" a few thousand Nuyen in an hour and it is much safer than risking your life shadowrunning.

Also, if you read Shadowrun books, this is mentioned on several occasions, as it is happening in real life malls, internet caf├ęs and on the 'net itself. So what's the ruling in the game?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jagger
Fixer
Fixer


Number of posts : 1148
Age : 55
Registration date : 2008-12-22

PostSubject: Re: Hacking and commlinks   Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:08 pm

there's nothing 'stopping' a character from going around and pirating people's identities and taking all their goods. nothing at all...

but

that player would have to deal with being ostracized from joining any teams who are more interested in playing Shadowrun than just running around trying to snag as much stolen swag as possible.

because, as you mentioned, what's to stop that character from trying to swipe his teammates stuff?

and, incidentally, I for one would wonder why someone who doesn't want to go on shadowruns would bother playing 'Shadowrun' in the first place.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Aalith
Team Leader
Team Leader
avatar

Number of posts : 403
Age : 33
Location : Hungary
Registration date : 2011-09-28

Character sheet
Character Name: Tokko Tsuonomi
Race: Elf
Sex: Male

PostSubject: Re: Hacking and commlinks   Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:12 pm

Thanks for the answer, but it wasn't really related to my question after the first line.
I'll wait for the others' opinion then.

Question from an other angle: commlinks store your life. They are not too hard to hack. What can you do if you are not a cutting edge shadowrunner? I don't think just hacking in is enough. There must be a catch.

Examples I read: accessing "higher" functions (SIN, bank account) requires some authentication, f.e. biometric scans. Problem: not every commlink has a bio scanner. My version: authorizing these requires a push of a physical button. It's easy. Problem: implanted links.
Somewhere ages ago (must have been 3rd edition, but somehow I remember "commlinks") I read about this, but I cannot find it anywhere: higher functions (HF from now on) have a separated place in the commlink, which is encrypted...or protected somehow...I really can't remember but I'm sure something like this was there.

Addendum: this is a question involving the inside mechanics of Shadowrun's imaginary world. An IC question, if you will.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jagger
Fixer
Fixer


Number of posts : 1148
Age : 55
Registration date : 2008-12-22

PostSubject: Re: Hacking and commlinks   Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:36 pm

My apologies, Aalith, I should have kept my yap shut.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Wreck
Fixer
Fixer
avatar

Number of posts : 1442
Age : 36
Location : Earth -5:00 GMT
Registration date : 2008-12-07

Character sheet
Character Name: (0d3\/\/R3(|{
Race: Human
Sex: Male

PostSubject: Re: Hacking and commlinks   Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:02 pm

Nothing stops the hacker in Shadowrun or IRL from doing this except time and risk. Hacking, even on the fly is an extended test. The chances of getting into the comlink without being detected on the first go are pretty small. Not only that, but each attempt allows the link/target a chance to notice the attempt.

Once in the link, every initiative pass gives the link another attempt to notice. This is a threshold extended test based on the hacker's rolls & programs. If he's in for too long, he has to start actively dodging the comlink's security.

Now, if the hacker is in full VR, he can speed up his attempts, but he's going to look a bit fishy slumped in a seat. Unless he's at a net cafe. In which case, the Cafe's node is probably strongly protected and looking for such behavior/access.

It doesn't take much effort for the fuzz to put you in cuffs if you are currently asleep.

It is possible to encrypt specific data in any system, so you're HF theory is sound. Admitedly though, this is not addressed directly. The use of a physical button to override this is also theoretically viable. It would act as a switch allowing access to an otherwise disconnected region in the link (think firmware).

Yes, the hacker would need administrative access to do ANY of this.

Now on to the NEXT step... getting the cash!

That's right, all of the above just gets me the access codes. Our hacker friend can now try and get the cash, but she's still going to have to hack to do it. Using the new access codes she can spoof to convince the bank/hotel/store/etc that she is the user she claims to be. This will also allow for a test that can catch her in her duplicity... and thus either deny access... or set the Star on her pasty butt.

So, like I said earlier, it takes time... and has a lot of risk.

So she's either going to get a couple of creds for a night in a business hotel & a frozen soy burger from some poor shmuck who only has a crap comlink. Or she ups the risk & reward ratio and goes after a real cash-cow... who may not notice a few creds, but will be more difficult to get at.

Does that suffice?


_________________
Native Language
2nd Language
3rd Language
Trix
Spoken on comlink in appropriate color
Thoughts in appropriate color
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Aalith
Team Leader
Team Leader
avatar

Number of posts : 403
Age : 33
Location : Hungary
Registration date : 2011-09-28

Character sheet
Character Name: Tokko Tsuonomi
Race: Elf
Sex: Male

PostSubject: Re: Hacking and commlinks   Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:57 am

It's pretty solid, thank you! Smile

Maybe even went to the other side a little. Top "off the self" OS' come with a R3 Firewall for 1500, a Transys 'link another 5000. If you want to upgrade, you can, but System limits the rating of the programs running on the 'link. So if you don't have 8-10 000 Nuyen you will be around 3 or 4 rating firewalls (max is 6 so it's pretty good).

Now you are right that slumping around people isn't a good idea, but since in wireless you can pretty much route everywhere, let's say you hack someone in an other country. With Hacking 6 and Exploit 5 (even starting characters can pull this off) +2VR that's 13 dice - almost surely gets into a R3 firewall and has a decent chance to hack a R4 in 1 complex action (statistically 1 in every 3 dice gets a hit).

But you are right, you should need admin access to do this, and the +6 isn't something to laugh at. But let's say you can do it (technomancer with assist operation and threading), with a decent Stealth you have 2 turns for it.

Once inside: you don't have to spoof, that's when you don't have admin access. Security tally: that's an optional rule and can be zeroed if you edit the log file.

"If he's in for too long, he has to start actively dodging the comlink's security" This is an average commlink we are talking about. No spiders and maybe a measly agent running Track if it even finds you.

And I cannot stress enough: if you have admin access, the commlink is effectively yours. You can shut down agents and programs, edit or delete the log file, boot other users from it, run your (or their) programs and wreak havoc generally.

But you are right, it's just not worth it. You maybe can do it a few times, then the GM starts using the optional rules, gets Lone Star on your back or maybe just says he was an Ares citizen and every felony against them will be investigated by Knight Errand.

And you don't want that.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Wreck
Fixer
Fixer
avatar

Number of posts : 1442
Age : 36
Location : Earth -5:00 GMT
Registration date : 2008-12-07

Character sheet
Character Name: (0d3\/\/R3(|{
Race: Human
Sex: Male

PostSubject: Re: Hacking and commlinks   Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:20 am

I think you miss understood my reasoning for the spoof. Yes, our hacker now has admin access to the comlink, but the comlink isn't the the bank, where the cred is actually stored. He still has to make the bank's node believe he is who he says he is. That happens today with credit cards. Odd spending and transfers set off automatic alarms. That means our hacker would possibly need to hack admin level access for the bank's node too... and THAT is no small feat.

If you want your character to spoof a lifestyle, I think the GM is more than willing to go along. You only need to do it once a "month". However, you're right to fear that the GM will use it as a plot devise. But, that's part and parcel of any hacker run.

_________________
Native Language
2nd Language
3rd Language
Trix
Spoken on comlink in appropriate color
Thoughts in appropriate color
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Ou!!!
Meat
Meat
avatar

Number of posts : 41
Age : 32
Location : 5R Headquarters
Registration date : 2010-01-18

Character sheet
Character Name:
Race:
Sex:

PostSubject: Re: Hacking and commlinks   Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:43 pm

In unwred there is a biometric mod for your comlink. I use the rule of thumb if my players want access to it, the NPC's do to. It is a cheap upgrade, one that anyone with the amount of money worth the effort of doing what you purpose would get. I simple program that in order to transfer money the biotmetric pad has to be depressed by the correct thumb during the transaction. Before that a password has to be imputed every time a tranfer is going to go through, less secure but still adding to the cost versus gain situation. Generally what you are saying just isn't in the "spirit" of the game. I personally if one of my players is doing this or something like that first I ask them why are they playing? Then if they still want to play this way, well what goes around comes around. Imagaine after a month of doing this getting the million nuyen, then going to purcuse that big expensive item, your go to ring it up, and oh no your accounts have been hacked, they are empty and you now have 200 credit cards in your name all maxed. And tada, I got a story: you trying to clear your name, and trying to hide your unsavory actions from your team, while you try to motivate them to help you.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Hacking and commlinks   

Back to top Go down
 
Hacking and commlinks
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Shadowrun Online :: Library :: Archives :: Archives - :: Questions and Answers-
Jump to: