Elf (2 hp)
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:17 pm
Re: Game Resources
Found this on another site for hacking reference. all that is below is not mine.
Ok, first and foremost:
Personally, I hope they rework this and change it so that the rule works as implied in Unwired and that public accounts do not grant a subscription.
The ability for any hacker to hack from the safety of his own home seems to undermine the flavor of the game imho.
That being said...
[quote=SR20A pg.235]The easiest way to get access to a node is to have permission. This does not necessarily have to
be your permission; you can get passcodes, passkeys, or other authorization from legitimate
users of the node. This can be done by social engineering, intimidation, theft, or any other
means at your disposal. Most of the time, a hacker is at a loss for a certified way into a node,
and must resort to hacking.
The goal of hacking into a node is to create your own account on the target node. In
order to hack a node, you must either be within mutual Signal range of the target nodeâ€™s
device or have an open subscription with the node through the Matrix.
There are two ways to hack a node. Hacking on the fly is fast, but has a high risk of
detection. Cautiously probing the target node for vulnerabilities is much slower, but entails
far less risk.[/quote]Emphasis mine.
So lets look this over and look at our assumptions.
1: We assume the hacker does not have a legitimate account on the node in question. As highlighted by the first two bold statements in the 1st paragraph.
2: I would like to assume that if we are in mutual signal range that we already know we can just make either a hack on the fly roll or a probe roll, so we will skip that part for the moment.
3: In order to hack (via probing or on the fly) when we are not in mutual signal range, you must have an open subscription with the node through the matrix.
A few notes on those 3 points:
Re: #1: If we don't assume this, this means you have a legit account that is usable and do not need to hack. End of discussion.
Re: #2: I will not assume that we agree on what "in mutual signal range" means, but will assume that if that condition is met that we can then roll on from there.
Re: #3: This seems to be the crux of the debate imho, and so after a brief attempt at tackling what "in mutual signal range" means, this will be where I spend the majority of my efforts to make a meaningful contribution to this thread.
What does "in mutual signal range" mean
[quote=SR20A pg.222]When two devices
are within the range of the lowest Signal rating of the two, they are
said to be in mutual Signal range; this is required for direct device-to device
communication and for other applications.[/quote]
It is hard if not impossible to disagree with this statement since it is spelled out in black and white here. However, I will admit to there being a little bit of ambiguity when we look into the process of routing.
This is where we have the greatest potential to start to stray a touch from RAW due to there being some seemingly conflicting statements/ideas. so lets explore this a little and see where we end up.
[quote=SR20A pg.218]When a wireless device needs to pass information to another
device in mutual Signal range, it simply sends the data. If the destination
is not within this range, for example when you are in the UCAS
and trying to speak to Mr. Johnson in Lisbon, the information travels
from device to device in a process called routing. When information
is routed between devices, it is non-sequentially sliced into a number
of pieces and sent to the recipient via multiple paths; this makes it
almost impossible to intercept the traffic except within Signal range
of the sender or the receiver, the only places the information is in one
readable piece (Capture Wireless Signal, p. 229).[/quote]and...
[quote=Unwired pg.54]A routing is established every time
data from node A want to access node
B, facilitating other nodes in between
as routers. Due to the mesh-network
nature of the Matrix, every wireless
node can function as a router and will
do so if not in passive or hidden mode
(see PAN modes, p. 211, SR4).[/quote]
It seems to me that if you are able to create a solid connection via routing, then there is no reason why you shouldn't be ale to hack via said connection. It is my humble opinion that it makes no sense that a person could not hack via routing, for example, today's hackers can hack via routing, as a matter of fact, even if you ignore the fact that hackers do not need to be physically near their target, the process of routing is almost a necessity of today's hacking. If hackers today couldn't use routing, they would be instantly caught every time, routing is one of the main ways they stay anonymous. But I digress. Lets just go ahead and assume that you must use mutual signal range and can not hack via a routed connection (as the SR20A rule seems to state on pg.235 as quoted above).
Which brings us to to the real (imho) point of contention in the thread. If we are not in mutual signal range, then we need a subscription. So how does one get a subscription?
Well, first some RAW references, which I'm not going to quote in full because they are all already in the thread, so I'll just cite books and page numbers for reference and be more specific later:
SR4A pg.224 Subscriptions To connect to a node...
SR4A pg.231 Log On (System) You open a subscription...
Unwired p.52 Public Access Rights If a connection is...
Unwired p.52 User Access Rights The vast majority...
Unwired p.52 If a connection is...
Unwired p.54 Actions handled by data requests table.
Unwired p.55 Actions needing subscriptions table.
Now, on to the meat and potatoes: How can you get a subscription?
Well, first and foremost I think we need to look at the definition of a subscription.
[quote=SR20A pg.224]To connect to a node (aside from the one on which your persona is
running), you must subscribe to it. A subscription is a two-way communications
link through the Matrix. This is a steady link that can be
maintained for extended periods of time. You must subscribe to a node
if you want to â€œtravelâ€ to it in the Matrix[/quote]
Ok, so first off, I feel the need to illustrate this point because some people seem to think differently on this point, and it makes a difference:
"Logging on" to a node and "Subscribing" to a node are all the same thing, and therefore all happen at the same time.
You do not need to get a subscription before you can log on, or log on before you gain a subscription, as they both happen at the same time since they are the same thing.
If we interpret the rules in such a way where they are effectively synonyms of the same action, or 2 separate actions that all occur simultaneously (much like how routing is an "invisible" process), then things become really simple.
This is best proven by carefully reading the "Log On" Matrix Action:
[quote=SR20A pg.231]Log On (System)
You open a subscription to a node, and your icon appears there. This
requires no test, but does require either the proper authentication to an
account (such as a passcode) or a hacked account. You also need a connection
to the nodeâ€™s device, either with a wired connection or a wireless
connection (by being within mutual Signal range or establishing a route
across multiple devices).[/quote]
The first sentence says it all. Your icon appears there, and you get a subscription. This is what Logging on is. Note that by logging in you are automatically "traveling" there - as the RAW puts it.
The second bold part is where it gets fun. That "establishing a route across multiple devices", yea, that's called Routing as quoted above.
So, with that 'new' interpretation in mind, lets see where this is coming from.
Prerequisites for logging on/subscribing to a node:
1. Connect directly via hardwired connection OR
2. Connect directly via mutual signal range OR
3. Establish a connection via a route from your device (commlink) to the node through the matrix. (Wait, isn't that called Routing?)
That #3 there - that's the tricky one... not only does it imply that routing is a viable connection, but that interpretation is backed up shortly thereafter in RAW.
Here are some RAW quotes:
[quote=SR20A pg.224]You must subscribe to a node
if you want to â€œtravelâ€ to it in the Matrix, which means that you must
be able to either connect with it directly (with a wired connection, or
when within mutual Signal range) or by establishing a route through
the Matrix network.[/quote]
Hmmm.... Yea, I'm pretty sure that bold part is AKA routing.
[quote=SR20A pg.225]When logging on without any authentication, you get a public account.[/quote]
This clearly states that you are "logged on" once you are granted a public account, as logging on would be a prerequisite for being granted the account, regardless of how crappy the account access may be.
[quote=SR20A pg.224]When you log on to a node, your icon appears there.[/quote]
Now, by extension, when you are at the point where you have a public account, you are logged on, and due to being logged on, your icon is now in/on that node.
[quote=SR20A pg.224]You must subscribe to a node if you want to â€œtravelâ€ to it in the Matrix[/quote]
If we have our icon in/on the node, then we must have traveled there. In order to have traveled there, we must have had a subscription, cause if we didn't have a subscription, we couldn't be there, and we are indeed there.
So, based on the RAW, getting a public access account gives us a subscription to that node. Note that you effectively can't do anything other than stare at the nodes 'homepage' due to not having authorization to do anything. If you want to do anything other than look at the nodes 'homepage', you need to get authenticated. Which requires you to log into a user/security/admin account. But you are technically subscribed at this point. Further note that you can run programs now such as stealth, exploit, etc. (See below.)
Now for the RAW that seems to contradict that.
[quote=Unwired p.52]The most important privilege normally granted
via user access is one slot on the subscription list. This allows the
user, or any of his agents, to enter the node in VR or AR mode.[/quote]
This most definitely implies that public access accounts do not get a place on the subscription list. However, it only implies it, and nowhere else does it state that public accounts actually don't get the subscription. Trust me , I wish this were true, but RAW is RAW, and we can't work off of what is implied when we have other evidence that is explicit.
And another RAW that seem to contradict our previous conclusion, but really isn't applicable:
[quote=SR20A pg.225]Icons with this [user] account are generally allowed to run programs[/quote]
This is referring to running programs that are loaded in the node, not your own programs, which are loaded into your persona. So you can indeed run your own programs, which are running on your own persona/commlink (such as stealth and exploit) with only a public account.
So, in summary, not only can we hack from where ever we want via routing (assuming the node is actually connected to the matrix somehow), but I wouldn't be surprised to see an official errata/FAQ explicitly state that public access accounts grant a subscription.
C'est la Vie