A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

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Azathoth Azathoth's picture
A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

Ok, so I'm really happy to get a lot more in-depth detail on the mesh topology in an average habitat, but maybe I'm missing something:
How do you access the regular ol' mesh for research or messaging people and places outside of the habitat? Now, it seems you'd have to access the habitat's mesh system in some capacity bcs you'd need your message routed through the long-range communications system, right? But if the system is set up as a VPN, how do you go about doing that unless everyone in the habitat is in the VPN? Or is there another level to the system that routes your traffic without technically granting you access?

Thanks for any help!

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

I assume the habitat mesh operates like a normal sub-network. For instance, at home, you likely have a router. All of the computers attach to the router, and form a private network, which is protected by that router. When you connect out, your connections are NATed, which provide some basic protection, but not encrypted unless you specifically opt for that. The habitat MAY have a segregated trunk to access the main mesh, which would act similar to the VPN, but there's nothing especially notable about that.

Whether you have access to the mesh and not other habitat systems depends on the hab setup, just like most networks. You do need SOME access to the network to connect to the mesh, even if it's just through a limited, segregated system. And rarely will you be given full access to everything on the network. In some places you can access the hab's network riding on a guest account, and sometimes you need authentication.

Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Re: A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

That sounds pretty good, thanks!
So would you be able to hack into the VPN if you have regular mesh access within the hab, assuming it's not a separate trunk?

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Re: A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

Azathoth wrote:
That sounds pretty good, thanks!
So would you be able to hack into the VPN if you have regular mesh access within the hab, assuming it's not a separate trunk?

Possibly, but I would bet you need to know in which frequency is that one working, so the easiest way is, as always, find a cable and use it. Gray Boxes are also your friend ^^

The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

nezumi.hebereke wrote:
I assume the habitat mesh operates like a normal sub-network. For instance, at home, you likely have a router. All of the computers attach to the router, and form a private network, which is protected by that router. When you connect out, your connections are NATed, which provide some basic protection, but not encrypted unless you specifically opt for that. The habitat MAY have a segregated trunk to access the main mesh, which would act similar to the VPN, but there's nothing especially notable about that.

Whether you have access to the mesh and not other habitat systems depends on the hab setup, just like most networks. You do need SOME access to the network to connect to the mesh, even if it's just through a limited, segregated system. And rarely will you be given full access to everything on the network. In some places you can access the hab's network riding on a guest account, and sometimes you need authentication.


What you describe actually would not be a mesh network, it would still have a couple of points of failure. Namely, the routers and firewall module. A true mesh would have nodes relaying traffic for all associated devices configured for a particular set of transmission parameters. Note that passing traffic for a node is not the same as being able to access any services running on a node, the distinction is important.

I think it more likely that habitat control systems would be set up so that their radios/optical links would be tuned to non-public parameters (frequencies of transmission, bit encoding, go/no go protocols, broadcast cell IDs, things like that, even encryption parameters) so that a) they would not conflict with publically available resources, and b) your average everyday transhuman would not accidentally access them through their mesh inserts. It would seem reasonable that only personnel with a need-to-know would be given the requisite configuration parameters so that they could interface to the C&C mesh without setting off any alarms. It might also be that the access nodes for habitat C&C systems would be physically distant (taking advantage of the limits of signal propagation in an enclosed area) so that intruders would have to be physically present to access those systems.

It is, however, entirely possible that the two meshes could be bridged by a VPN gateway, which would simplify configuration for the user somewhat.

Doing so might also make it difficult for an intruder because they would have to find a logical path through systems on the mesh (public layer, public fabricators, PA, security personnel, waste management and disposal, et cetera) just to find the habitat C&C nodes because it is unlikely (and in fact would be operationally a bad idea due to efficiency and crosstalk problems) that mesh radios would be operating at high broadcast power for maximum distance. Authorized personnel (more likely, their muses would do it for them) would be given authorization to access certain mesh systems along with unique identities (in the infosec sense) and authentication credentials to tunnel through some the habitat's systems them. Each logical system would present another security chokepoint to further ensure that intruders could not easily gain access to critical systems.

Of course, if the cracker walks down to the engineering level and touches the wall right over the mesh node's transceiver, some of the bets are off.



Re-Laborat Re-Laborat's picture
Re: A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

The Doctor wrote:
Of course, if the cracker walks down to the engineering level and touches the wall right over the mesh node's transceiver, some of the bets are off.

Some oldschool rules never change.

Airgap is the ultimate security (WIth wireless turned off, too).

If they can access the server physically, they can access the server's data.

The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

Re-Laborat wrote:
If they can access the server physically, they can access the server's data.

It is an axiom of information security that physical access trumps all security measures (sometimes, given sufficient time).



Re-Laborat Re-Laborat's picture
Re: A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

...That's exactly what I said.

Except I used the phrase "Oldschool rule" rather than "Axiom of Security."

Would you like your rep-point entered as corporate or research? The Autonomists disavow you.

Please fill out the appropriate form at the Department of Redundancy Department.

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

The Doctor wrote:
What you describe actually would not be a mesh network,

I would not assume that everything everywhere will be meshed, due to security and functionality concerns. I don't think that's an issue though, is it?

Azathoth wrote:
That sounds pretty good, thanks!
So would you be able to hack into the VPN if you have regular mesh access within the hab, assuming it's not a separate trunk?

Hacking into the ship's public mesh shouldn't be hard. There will be a bazillion connections coming out. Get one of them to connect to yoir compromised hosts and you're basically in.

Connecting to critical systems will be tougher. Critical systems should be separated by firewalls or air-gapped. Crossing those depends on either cracking the firewall, or on finding something connected both to the public mesh and the segregated system, and connecting through that.

The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

Re-Laborat wrote:
...That's exactly what I said.

Except I used the phrase "Oldschool rule" rather than "Axiom of Security."


I was trying to agree with you, only it seems that a general lack of sleep has once again corrupted my forebrain. Please accept my apologies.

Re-Laborat wrote:
Would you like your rep-point entered as corporate or research? The Autonomists disavow you.

Research, please? I am still on fairly good terms with the Autonomists. I did not think it was possible to get jet lag by egocasting back from Extropia...

Re-Laborat wrote:
Please fill out the appropriate form at the Department of Redundancy Department.

Already signed, counter-signed, triply-signed, copied, acknowledged, and all extant copies dropped back into the fabber for recycling. Oh, the leopard put a pawprint on all of the copies, too.



The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

nezumi.hebereke wrote:
I would not assume that everything everywhere will be meshed, due to security and functionality concerns. I don't think that's an issue though, is it?

For the sake of designing a scenario for players, it might be.

It might be interesting to get the players used to the ins and outs of EP, and then during an operation throw an old-school netrun, ala Cyberspace or Shadowrun at them, in which the network topology can either be used against or strategically by the players. Perhaps a habitat (especially an older one) never migrated the sensitive areas of its information infrastructure to a mesh architecture and kept the older hardwired network with a chained star architecture in place, with dedicated firewalls and chokepoints to deter intruders even though the hardware itself has been (mostly, partially, not) upgraded to standard EP gear.

nezumi.hebereke wrote:
Connecting to critical systems will be tougher. Critical systems should be separated by firewalls or air-gapped. Crossing those depends on either cracking the firewall, or on finding something connected both to the public mesh and the segregated system, and connecting through that.

Or perhaps ganking one of the IT or maintenance personnel, sleeving into their morph, and installing your own cross-link to use later...



Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: A little confused on habitat mesh systems from panopticon

my crew is used to the Net as shown in the Game-That-Must-Not-Be-Named (or Cyberpunk 3.0 for those who believe that the fear of the name fuels the fear of the game itself), based on some specific location and augmented reality with possible feedback in the physical world.

that could be really interesting counter-measures, if an Infosec specialized informorph or AGI jams into a swarmoid, flexbox and physically assault the hacker where he is.
that's another way to involve the rest of the characters in a hacking action.

Dedger:"Okay guys, I think I cracked through. Now, let's check those private spimes..."
Twerp sees the desk behind Dedger fall apart and reform as a flexbot
Twerp:"I wouldn't be so sure about the 'got through' part!"

contains wise, I go with the WYIWYG (what you see is what you Geth): the more people there is in an habitat, either physical or informorph, the richer, smarter and proficient the Mesh is. And every time someone is farcast in or out, or a ship (courrier, barge, liner, etc) docks, the Mesh spreads and transmit to other Mesh Islands

Then there is the feeds. beside the rl modern day application like Youtube, Rutube, Dailymotion, etc, I recommend the reading of Leviathan Wakes, in which the Feeds have a great role.

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!