Box of Chaos

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uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
Box of Chaos

Let's say I am carrying a dufflebag or briefcase which contains a Portable Server. The Portable Server can run 10 alpha forks/full ego-eidolons, I assume I could just run 10 Kaos AI (additional question: could I run more than 10 limited AI?). What is the best tactical strategy to use this tool? I have an NPC and I have given them such an info-weapon, how is the best way to use it? Say for instance they encounter the player characters in a low-mesh area, they could hack the player's TacNet, right?

Although, if the players switch their tacnet to laser-link, that would bypass such hacking?

Just need some ideas and thoughts on Swarm-esque Brute Force, BotNet style hacking in combat situations.

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
You might get more mileage if

You might get more mileage if you used ectos. You could get 20 ectos for the price of 1 portable server. That would get you 20 limited AIs running instead of 10.

Limited AIs wouldn't notice a loss of performance moving to ectos. Egos might notice a difference depending on their aptitudes and other stuff.

However, they might lose the ability to communicate with each other directly (since they wouldn't be sharing the same device). You might need some cables or something to replace that loss. Alternatively, you could take advantage of the fact they are separate devices to leave them some place remote or treat as disposable devices.

Baribal Baribal's picture
uwtartarus wrote:I have an

uwtartarus wrote:
I have an NPC and I have given them such an info-weapon, how is the best way to use it? Say for instance they encounter the player characters in a low-mesh area, they could hack the player's TacNet, right?

Establish a digital foothold in their TacNet, share created / exploited user IDs with your fellow AIs to expand the foothold fast, break all the stuff in their PANs, exfiltrate sensor data to be up to speed on their every step... The only point at which it comes up that they are several AIs instead of one is during combat, when they take ten times the number of actions that a single operator would. But then again a single operator would probably be more skilled than each AI. That, actually, is also the point where sharing access IDs would come back to bite you; go in together, be shut out together.

uwtartarus wrote:
IAlthough, if the players switch their tacnet to laser-link, that would bypass such hacking?

Yes, if they didn't engage in InfoSec war on their own, which usually is only a last resort in the face of superior InfoSec capabilities. However, at that point, they have not only ceded that battlefield, but are on a slippery slope to losing it altogether. Lasers are limited to line of sight, and can be disrupted by smoke, then they might change to ultrasound, which can be jammed (or exploited again, while you're at it), hardlines are as much a hindrance as they are helpful...

uwtartarus wrote:
Just need some ideas and thoughts on Swarm-esque Brute Force, BotNet style hacking in combat situations.

Frankly, unless your Firewall cell has left a glaring hole in their skillset, I expect that infoweapon to be turned against its wielders in short order. Kaos AIs have COG 10, InfoSec 40. Every Firewall cell should have at least one sentinel with COG + InfoSec >= 80 who sits on the machine that all other sentinels slave their systems to.

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
They are not a hacker strong

They are not a hacker strong cell (we have had some player flux), we have a journo/media type, an info-broker face type, an axe-wielding pirate, and an ex-ultimate argonaut Erasurer squad-to-be type. So they are "talk fast, shoot faster" as their general M.O., which is why an NPC is going to poach their score (rogue scientists who may be infected with exoplanetary badness), because the NPC is from Exo-Tech and has all of the goodies.

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
Ah, they do have an Ally who

Ah, they do have an Ally who is a Hacker type, going to bring him with in a ghostrider.

So before long, their Hacker will turn the BotNet against the NPC?

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Anyone worth fighting should

Anyone worth fighting should have a quantum encrypted VPN for a PAN and Tacnet, so forget about hacking into those things without a TITAN worth of magic computers and some time to get intel ahead of time.

You could hack into less secure stuff nearby like doors or synths, but infrastructure should really be on an encrypted VPN as well, so that's not something you can do quickly.

Radio jamming is probably the most frequently applicable, and would work well when combined with backup communications such as laser links, microwave emitters or ultrasonics.

Baribal Baribal's picture
Since the player characters

Since the player characters are apparently not involved in the InfoSec part of any battle, I'd recommend using the ally as a 1:1 cancel for the Kaos AIs, letting them and him neutralize each other, so that the ball is back in the character's court. In addition you could use it to throw help or problems the player's way if the physical battle tilts towards one side too fast. As it is completely a battle between NPCs, I'd recommend against turning it into a dice-rolling contest with yourself. It just costs time and doesn't add fun for the players.
As for what would "really" happen, that depends on the ally's skill. Assuming that he's as competent a hacker as a hacker sentinel would be, I'd have to review the hacking rules, but I'd think that he'd cut through the Kaos boxes' defenses like a hot vibroknife to butter substitute. Kaos AIs fill in for completely absent hackers, or (mostly) untraceable InfoSec timebombs and mines, and probably another few roles I can't even imagine right now.

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Anyone worth fighting should have a quantum encrypted VPN for a PAN and Tacnet, so forget about hacking into those things without a TITAN worth of magic computers and some time to get intel ahead of time.

Wait, are TacNets always quantum encrypted? And if so does that mean no one hacks TacNets besides TITAN/singularity tech? What good are AR illusion software if everyone has quantum encrypted PANs?

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
I don't think every PAN is

I don't think every PAN is super encrypted, but the Tacnet is explicitly an encrypted VPN. The exact form of encryption is not clear, but you'd definitely need to equip the box of hacking with some appropriate software and possibly hardware tools.

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Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
They aren't always, but they

They aren't always, but they should be IMO. It's pretty cheap to set up and provides a huge amount of security. Tacnets are VPNs though, so you'd still need a pile of quantum computers to break in in a remotely usable timeframe.

AR illusions aren't that great IMO, encryption is pretty common, and that makes them hard to use.

boomzilla boomzilla's picture
(for context, I'm one of

(for context, I'm one of uwtartatus's former players who dropped out because I might be moving)

uwtartarus wrote:
Say for instance they encounter the player characters in a low-mesh area, they could hack the player's TacNet, right?

I can read up on this for you! I see people are having conflicting ideas about the level of encryption on Tacnet. I don't know myself without reading up on it.

uwtartarus wrote:

Although, if the players switch their tacnet to laser-link, that would bypass such hacking?

Yes, and I know our party does that *a lot* (drop off the mesh so we don't get hacked). Here are a few ways to deal with that:

1. wandering around without mesh on is very analogous to wandering around in, like, a ghillie suit. Great for wilderness infiltration--not so great for working in civilization! People wandering around the mall without mesh on are flagged as weird and potentially threatening. Just like you'd get the stink eye if you went wandering around the mall in, like, a black "tactical" infiltration uniform, complete with greasepaint.

2. we turn off all our mesh stuff, but remember that not only does the typical person in EP have *everything* meshed, but most meshed stuff is designed to *not* turn off.

I'd say, everytime we try to go offline, make the PC (or their muse) roll Interfacing. If they roll bad, the device AI of their cock piercing, the RFID in their t-shirt, or whatever (or some other minor peripheral) takes just long enough to shut down (they are prompted, multiple times, ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DISCONNECT?) its connection to let the hackers get one attempt in.

On a really bad Interface fail, it's a more major device (like the mag of their assault rifle) that fails to disconnect, or just completely does not disconnect.

And remember, you can totally infiltrate to the cranial comp from trivial peripheral if it's slaved to your PAN.


eaton eaton's picture
Quote:Wait, are TacNets

Quote:
Wait, are TacNets always quantum encrypted? And if so does that mean no one hacks TacNets besides TITAN/singularity tech? What good are AR illusion software if everyone has quantum encrypted PANs?

he way I've always run it, if you want to avoid easy hacks and AR Illusions, you have to kill your connection to the public mesh, where the majority of useful situational information about your environment can be had (are the airlock doors about to cycle? is security en route? did someone just find the body on level 3 and instagram it?).

You'd still be able to communicate securely *with your team* but you'd be ignoring all external input and could easily miss other cues.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
boomzilla wrote:(for context,

boomzilla wrote:
(for context, I'm one of uwtartatus's former players who dropped out because I might be moving)

uwtartarus wrote:
Say for instance they encounter the player characters in a low-mesh area, they could hack the player's TacNet, right?

I can read up on this for you! I see people are having conflicting ideas about the level of encryption on Tacnet. I don't know myself without reading up on it.

uwtartarus wrote:

Although, if the players switch their tacnet to laser-link, that would bypass such hacking?

Yes, and I know our party does that *a lot* (drop off the mesh so we don't get hacked). Here are a few ways to deal with that:

1. wandering around without mesh on is very analogous to wandering around in, like, a ghillie suit. Great for wilderness infiltration--not so great for working in civilization! People wandering around the mall without mesh on are flagged as weird and potentially threatening. Just like you'd get the stink eye if you went wandering around the mall in, like, a black "tactical" infiltration uniform, complete with greasepaint.

2. we turn off all our mesh stuff, but remember that not only does the typical person in EP have *everything* meshed, but most meshed stuff is designed to *not* turn off.

I'd say, everytime we try to go offline, make the PC (or their muse) roll Interfacing. If they roll bad, the device AI of their cock piercing, the RFID in their t-shirt, or whatever (or some other minor peripheral) takes just long enough to shut down (they are prompted, multiple times, ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DISCONNECT?) its connection to let the hackers get one attempt in.

On a really bad Interface fail, it's a more major device (like the mag of their assault rifle) that fails to disconnect, or just completely does not disconnect.

And remember, you can totally infiltrate to the cranial comp from trivial peripheral if it's slaved to your PAN.

My thought here is to keep an ecto in your pocket that stays online to be your "public-facing" active mesh, and keep it air-gapped from your actual tactical pan. That way you have a device to collect and satify all those ad-ware campaigns and beeps emergency alerts to you, but is a deadend for people trying to hack your interesting stuff.

A slight smell of ions....