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Mobile Frame Hangar • View topic - Hacking?

Hacking?

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Hacking?

Postby Thaddeus » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:33 pm

By the way, Josh, how effective is hacking in the solar calender?

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Re: Hacking?

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:13 pm

Computer hacking? If it's local, it has the limitations you'd expect. Interstellar communication is more like snail mail — it has to go through a transit gate, which, depending on the transit corporation, might get read and censored ir might have to be put in a queue to get sent. Remember that the entire gate apparatus, including all the engineers and their families only point the gate at one destination at a time.

Keep in mind: mobile frames are largely analog, though there are digital control systems on the more expensive systems that control the analog stuff. There are actual, physical tubes of fluid running through frames and their nervous systems are each subtly unique, grown to adapt to the pilot that usually pilots that frame.
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Re: Hacking?

Postby Thaddeus » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:19 pm

I see. Hacking plays a major role in my system, Thesis.

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Re: Hacking?

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:08 pm

RIght on. Do you have it written up somewhere?

I might suggest that you avoid too broadly-spread a network; otherwise, no fighting robots.
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Re: Hacking?

Postby Thaddeus » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:20 pm


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Re: Hacking?

Postby Foxfire » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:16 pm

Even if you are not hacking a frame's core system directly, I am sure there are still plenty of things to hack.

Sensors, ECM, ECCM, communications, etc all have some form of external facing interface that may be hacked or spoofed. You don't have to directly take control of a frame to take shut a frame down. Forcing a shut down/lockout/reboot of his sensor systems would take him out of the fight for a bit. Imagine getting a blue screen of death on you main display in the middle of a fire fight, then having to wait for the system to reboot.

One of the bonuses to the low-tech repurposed labor frames is that they are much more resistant to these kind of attacks.
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Re: Hacking?

Postby Thaddeus » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:46 pm

Right. Labour frames are mechanical, billion dollar high tech works of art aren't and are therefore vulnerable.

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Re: Hacking?

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:53 pm

Labor frames are cheap, cobbled-together, compact car budget pieces of equipment. There are, of course, big fancy ones with lots of computation and communication equipment. Those aren't the ones you use to get your crops to market, though. Those are the TTM frames that get gutted and have more reliable gear installed inside when they get captured because their IFF system told it to pull the trigger at the wrong moment.

You can hack a Yugo, but you gotta get under the hood. And sure, ECM makes a mess, but spoofing is a long way from an inside hack.
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Re: Hacking?

Postby Foxfire » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:44 pm

Brute force and ignorance can solve any problem. The application of brute force and ignorance may create other new problems, but those problem can also be solved with brute force and ignorance. -An old roomate
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Re: Hacking?

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:17 am

Many frames have no digital parts at all! We've got a couple of articles around and the text itself explains how they work.

Social engineering, though, that's where it's at!
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Re: Hacking?

Postby Foxfire » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:05 pm

Brute force and ignorance can solve any problem. The application of brute force and ignorance may create other new problems, but those problem can also be solved with brute force and ignorance. -An old roomate
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Re: Hacking?

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:09 pm

No, but there's no reason to believe those things are all networked to the outside, either.

So, for instance, my radio might be digital, but if it's not connected to the control scheme or sensors of the frame, all you can do is misinform me or call me names. My HUD tells me heat signatures, shows me a map, and so forth, but it's my finger on the trigger (by giant-finger proxy), so again, you can fool the pilot (which might be useful!) but not take actual control of anything.

Spoofing sensors is pretty de rigueur anyway; that's what ECM is, but I'd hardly call it a hack in the "creative application of byproducts" way. And it's not like those sensors, again, are tied into another system.

I'll point out here that the way you defeat an M1A1 Abrams main battle tank is with a guy on a rooftop who has a cheap, disposable, cobbled-together launcher for a 30-year-old rocket-propelled grenade that you bought from a guy you know. You don't hack its sensors. You might obscure them, feed false data, or whatever, but that's a matter of smoke, rubble, and having civilians around.

That is, the interesting hacks here have to do with interacting with pilots. Frames are designed to be durable, modular, redundant, and simple. That's their whole point. The're the AK-47 of this world. Messing with pilots, though, that's interfering in the OODA loop, and that's very good.
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Re: Hacking?

Postby Foxfire » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:07 pm

Brute force and ignorance can solve any problem. The application of brute force and ignorance may create other new problems, but those problem can also be solved with brute force and ignorance. -An old roomate
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Re: Hacking?

Postby Soren » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:53 am

There's also no exploit quite as good as physically stealing the other guy's box. I've heard a couple variations on stories where sysadmin X dares Y to get past his security... and the best way turned out to be 'pretend to be maintenance and wheel the server out the front door during lunch, because if you have a badge and a jumpsuit nobody will stop you.' Then you can get into it at your leisure.
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Re: Hacking?

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:16 pm

There's this subtle little moment in Bruce Sterling's novel, Distraction. In it, the state of Louisiana, having turned itself into a biotechnological world power, is seceding from the Union. The US Army is all heavily invested in cyborg gear, and the protagonist sees a handful of networked, cybernetically enhanced, heavily armed soldiers entering into the bayou, hunting for the enemy.

There's no apparent battle or anything. The soldiers are just never heard from again.

In general, the more complex a system, the more likely it is to fail. That's why the military is so conservative with its tactics and equipment.

But that doesn't mean they don't try! The TTM fave frame, the ST-10 Osprey, is chock full of experimental materials, computation that lets it anticipate the pilot, and networking that helps the company all stay together. That's fine when they can get repairs after every sortie! Somehow, the TTA thinks that this is the way to go.

Maybe in your environment, that's how it works, too! Maybe the special system is a network, and everyone without it gets only one white die.
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Re: Hacking?

Postby Thaddeus » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:20 pm


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Re: Hacking?

Postby Dukayn » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:14 am

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Re: Hacking?

Postby Thaddeus » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:12 am

Right. You can't hack cogs and gears and muscle cylinders. But then again, High-Tech stuff is made for a reason.

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Re: Hacking?

Postby Foxfire » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:27 pm

Brute force and ignorance can solve any problem. The application of brute force and ignorance may create other new problems, but those problem can also be solved with brute force and ignorance. -An old roomate
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Re: Hacking?

Postby The Hydromancer » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:16 pm

Water is patient.
Water just waits.
Wears down the cliff tops, the mountains.
The whole of the world.
Water always wins.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_hydromancer/

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