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Zen Shooter01
I'm finding a lot of "The Wireless World" rather confusing, but my biggest difficulty is this- how do you find the target computer? My solution follows. Somebody please check my work.

Let's say you want to hack a coke machine into dispensing free product. The coke machine node wants to interface with customers, so it operates in active mode all the time. So you make a matrix perception test, as per pg. 217, to specifically examine the coke machine - the machine itself is standing right in front of you, but the test is to get your computer to cozy up to its computer. Then you go to the hacking rules on pg. 208 to break into the node. Once you've got Admin access to the coke machine's brain, you own it, and with a simple action can order it to do anything you want.

Second example. You suspect that the node that controls the sentry guns is within range of your commlink, but hidden from plain sight. So you make a matrix perception test vs. a target that's hiding from you, as per pg. 217. Once you find the node, you go to the hacking rules on 208 to bugger it senseless.

Now here's the knot I can't untie - what if that coke machine is in Shanghai and you're in Detroit? The rules are exactly the same as if you're standing in front of it? And the same goes for the sentry gun node? Because you're signal just hops from your commlink to a nearby lamppost to a satellite to the target node? (Presuming it's not in a matrix dead zones.)
you'd probably have to gather some information about the coke machine. for instance, you could do a search for all coke machines near a certain Shanghai address, and then hack traffic cams to find the right one. or you could hack Coke's automated delivery system, and find the machine's net address that way. but no, i'd say you can't just go "i wanna hack a coke machine in Shanghai!" and do a perception test to find it.
why would you want to hack a coke machine in shanghai anyways? The coke'd be warm by the time you git there from detroit anyways....

/sarcasm off
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Zen Shooter01 @ Dec 12 2005, 12:10 AM)
Now here's the knot I can't untie - what if that coke machine is in Shanghai and you're in Detroit? The rules are exactly the same as if you're standing in front of it? And the same goes for the sentry gun node? Because you're signal just hops from your commlink to a nearby lamppost to a satellite to the target node?  (Presuming it's not in a matrix dead zones.)

Sure - you reach a web page the same way regardless of your position. (Well, from a user's pov.)
First Example - not exactly, you don't need to use matrix perception to find the active node, only to learn more about. Your comlink automatically detects all nodes within its range.

2nd Example - again, not exactly, you need to use Electonic Warefare skill to detect hidden nodes. See page 225

As for what to do when you're not physically present, I haven't figured that out for sure yet. But, the way I see it... it doesn't matter where you are if you know the commcode of what you're looking for. If you're not physically present, you need to first use Data Search skill to look up the commcode for the node you want to hack.

You make a valid point. Although I'm still reading SR4, this poses an interesting question.

For the sake of arguement, it's easier that the targeted Soda Machine be "right in front of {the ctr.}", which can range from only a 1/3rd of a meter to down the street (1 standard city block, or say 10 meters? I don't know Metric). I notice this on page 213: "Note that for the two devices to communicate with each other (as opposed to one-way communication), the device must be within range of the weakest signal rating involved."
Hacking a soda dispenser in Shanghai involves accessing the Matrix, hopping several nodes, finding the 'right' machine, then hacking it. It's just easier to hack the machine closest to you.

In the second example, I think you nailed it. It's still going to be a seach for the sentry guns, but not impossible.

The closer you are to the Node/target, the easier it is. Similar to a line-of-sight rule. The more Nodes you have to hop, the better chance you have of your digital trail being picked up on.

Still, this is only my POV. I must do more reading.
I forgot to mention that line-of-sight appears to have nothing to do with detecting a node, the only important thing is the range of your comlink - see signal rating.

If an active or passive node is within range, its automatically detected. If a hidden node is within range, an Electronic Warfare + Scan test is required.
These are good questions, and I have one of my own to add.

If you know a device's comm code number, can you track its physical location? Meaning, if you have a Johnson's commlink number, how would you go about locating the Johnson in the (psuedo) real world?
Frog--If he's online, I would use the Matrix trace rules, with the possibility to deflect per normal...Finding people in SR4 got a lot easier in some ways than previous editions. Though hiding in plain sight also got easier unless you get randomly scanned for being in a AAA neighborhood.
QUOTE (TheFr0g)
If you know a device's comm code number, can you track its physical location?


Meaning, if you have a Johnson's commlink number, how would you go about locating the Johnson in the (psuedo) real world?

The Track program is what you want, it correlates matrix icons with real world locations. The full rules for the Track action are on page 219, and the modifiers are on page 220.

Functionally, your threshold is 10, plus any hits they got on Redirect actions with a Spoof program. If they have a Stealth program running while you are attempting to triangulate their real location, they subtract its rating from your Tracking dice pool.

Frank--Any guesses on how to handle Signal rating? I slip an RFID chip into the Johnson's cuff when I shake hands, can I now track him? Or do I have to be within 3 m to find the chip?
(Not Frank but...) The chip has to be within 3m of a wireless network, i.e. it has to be able to communicate to the MAtrix. Then you can hop from node to node until you find it, and thus trace it.
An RFID has a signal of 1, so its range is 40m (p. 212). Your commlink has a way longer range than that, so you'll be able to send the RFID commands from very far away. But for the RFID to tell you its exact location, you'll have to be 40m away from it - which is the other side of the house.

But all is not lost. In order to find the chip, the chip has to be within 40m of some open Matrix connection. Any open Matrix connection. That means GridGuide, or a Trivid hub, or anything. As long as the RFID stays in a city, that's no problem. Then you can track it at any time. You always know its Icon (because you made it), and it isn't running Stealth or Spoof against you at all. So tracking it down takes about 3-4 Combat Rounds from anywhere in the world.

Unfortunately, zeroing in on the RFID in this way is only accurate to 50m, because it is definitely a "mobile wireless device" as per page 219.

QUOTE (McQuillan)
Frank--Any guesses on how to handle Signal rating? I slip an RFID chip into the Johnson's cuff when I shake hands, can I now track him? Or do I have to be within 3 m to find the chip?

RFID chips will randomly transmit GPS coordinates to the nearest node. If they're close to a node that can rebroadcast Matrix-wide, then you could track him from across the city (or country, I suppose), but if he goes into a static zone, he's gone. You'd have to do Track command to find it again once it left the static zone.

Also, with tracking things via the Matrix - it's just as easy(hard?) as it is now. If I did enough snooping, I could find the location of your computer (generally speaking), but in the 2070's, since your commlink broadcasts GPS, I can now find your specific physical location instead of your general physical location (I can know your commlink is walking down 10th St instead of the fact that your connection is coming from West Seattle).
Kev--I was commenting more to the fact that a determined havker can find you in a matter of seconds rather than hours and days...
Heh. I just assumed it would be like this:

See, I picture VR interaction as -identical- to the Matrix from SR3, just with a new set of rules. When you go full-VR, you get projected onto a sculpted system (if it's present, doesn't even have to be these days) of the locale you are, with the icons of all the nodes in more or less the same positions as they are in the meat world (I visualize it as being on a giant public node, and the other nodes/icon interact with the one you are on... Sorta like being on an RTG).

So basically, you would head to the streets of Shanghai via the international comms networks, look around, find the icon for the coke machine you wish to interact with, and.. well, interact with it.

Side note: I personally would think coke machines, like about any vendor device, would be among the most heavily hardened systems out there. Why? Because you probably pay them via credstick anymore. That credstick must be sent off for processing and verification, and then the remote site authorizes purchase. In other words, the coke machine would be a slave device on a PLTG, with very limited interactivity to the wireless nodes at large. After all, it wouldn't be a very smart idea to let just any wireless-capable schmo off the street be able to hack in and get a free soda, eh?

Zen Shooter: My take on it is that in order to hack a node that is in range of your commlink, all you have to do is pick up itīs signal. But in order to hack a node that is on the other side of the earth (or anywere outside your range) you have to find itīs adress. Thatīs the difference.

In game terms itīs either an electronic warfare test or a info search test, I guess. I havenīt looked it up. Either way the hacking is the same.

I find it helpful to remind myself that even if you experience jumping from node to node while traveling the matrix, you and your hardware are actually in the same place. When dealing with things outside your commlinkīs range you are constantly sending and recieving info over the matrix, and you need an adress to do so. Even if you could use the sensors of any nearby node to pick up the coke machineīs signal, it would be far more work jumping 40m at a time node to node looking for it, than to simply find itīs adress via the company that owns it.
Lord Ben
It'd even be easier in some ways.

Watch someone order the Soda with a matrix perception test. Get the ID of whatever wireless thing verifies the transaction and tells the machine to dispense a soda. Then just spoof the signal and tell the machine again that another soda was ordered. No hacking involved!
hrmf, unless the soda company is dead stupid it would embedd a one time token into the order signal. kinda like how todays datatraffic have a sequence number added to it based on a formula and a seed.

this to avoid a kind of blind attack where the attacker pretends he is a approved system and prays to god that a error do not happen. basicly he sends commands to the target blindly...
Lord Ben
Sure, but however it works IRL, in the game mechanics if you know the access ID (gathered from a perception test) you can spoof commands. Of course it's an opposed roll with a chance of failure...

Game mechanics are set up so it's possible to do those things relatively easily.
sure, spoof a command. basicly that means making the system belive that whatever you tell it is true. a bit diffrent from copying a existing signal (or rather, diffrent approach, same outcome).
Lord Ben
That's what I was referring to originally, spoofing the signal. I didn't mean to copy and replay the oldsignal. But first you need to know what matrix ID to spoof the command from, which is why you'd need to observe someone order a soda.
still, i would think all the logics of the trade would be internal to the dispenser. maybe a link to the mainframe back a soda hq for ordering refills and similar, and for verifying the payment.


customer interacts with the arrow of the dispenser.

the dispenser sends a signal with the id of the person interacting and what soda is selected to the hq. hq contacts bank of said id and triggers a transaction.

the user gets a signal from the bank and verifys the transaction.

bank tells hq that money have been transferd, hq relays that to the dispenser.

dispenser goes ok and release the soda.

what the hacker wants to do is bypass the firewall and spoof the last bit. or basicly make the dispenser think that a transaction have been done, or maybe even just spoof the "release soda" command to the mechanical part of the machine. maybe via some sort of diagnostics mode or something wink.gif

other option is making the dispenser think its talking to hq when its realy talking to the hackers comlink. depending on the levels of verification and so on, this may well be harder.
Lord Ben
OT, A friend of mine knows how to get a coke machine into diagnostics mode. I guess if you press a certain combination of buttons you can get into admin mode and change the price of a soda to a nickel or ask it to dispense a test soda, etc.

You could press the button with a commlink with $0, then just spoof the financial transaction acceptance.

But at any rate, without talking about the specifics of the coke machine you don't always have to hack as a hacker. Sometimes you can just spoof commands to things. And often times it's easier to spoof than it is to hack.
For the Coke machine in Shanghai, I would imagine doing the following, most of which can be done today when you're searching for a fast food restaurant:

Get on the web, hit up Coca-Cola's website.

Do a search list of vending machines in the Shanghai area. (Since all things now have a GPS trackable RFID chip in them, it's dirt simple to build a list of coke machines and fluff a website with their data.)

Pick one you like. Now, here's where you can go one of two routes.


Backdoor the Coke Servers and dig up the RFID tag of the Coke Machine you want, along with admin passcodes to put it into test mode as someone mentioned before. Punch in directly to the machine with your passcodes, overwatching from aforementioned security cameras around the machine. Then jsut toss it into test and start spitting bottles. This method is precise for a single, specific machine, but means you'd need to go up against hard IC and deckers from the Coke Mainframe.

B: Using the address, you bounce through the web and hack into nearby security cameras of the Coke Machine for visualization. Since you don't have any passcodes, you'll need to hack the machine itself, which may or may not be possible if the machine's in heavy usage. But, you won't be dealing with Coke Mainframe IC in the process. Just whatever IC might be on the machine's drive. But you will have to deal with the IC and Sysops(I won't demean a proper decker by calling traitors to the art of free information who work for the establishment Deckers as well smile.gif ) of the security cameras you're working as well.
i dont get B at all, why are one aiming for the security cams in the area if the objective is free soda?
Well because once they figure out that a cola was aquired without payment they will find out when and then check the security camera to see your ugly mug and come chase you down and lock you up. Unless of course you just choose to pop out a cola and have the next poor sod who comes along to get one see the freebie and take it and get nailed.

You know, this is an amazing waste of resources for <1 nuyen.

That said, it fits. wink.gif

And if that was the final piece of the pie that got a particularly obnoxious hacker caught, so be it. =)
Lord Ben
That's why they'll have weak security though. The soda machine won't have a giant firewall and a ton of programs. It's device rating is probably 1.
For most Coke machines, the menu is 4 2 3 1. Buttons are numbered top to bottom, left to right. That's the default code. All the machines near me, however, have the options to change prices etc. locked away. They only work if the door is open. You can still get a list of sales by slot, and other info, but no free soda.

There's a more detailed post linked on (I think) Boing Boing that gives specifics about the menu.

edit: Found it:
I'm sorry guys... this whole topic is getting a little too Soda ex Machina for me.
I Love you. That was the best pun I've heard in weeks.
Agreed, well done. smile.gif
QUOTE (Shrike30)
I'm sorry guys... this whole topic is getting a little too Soda ex Machina for me.

That's...that's terrible. Seriously, I think part of my soul died upon reading that. nyahnyah.gif
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