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On a recent run several of my players commlinks were comprimised by a group of hackers that they pissed off. Despite several blatent hints on my part, they remain blissfully unaware. So... what's an evil GM to do? I've been brainstorming on nasty complications that this could cause, but I have been drawing a blank.

Specificly, my parties mage and phys-ad's commlinks were comprimised. Unfortuantly neither one of them relies heavily upon technology. So common tricks like messing with their smartlinks or cyberware don't apply. Also, since after they finaly discover this exploit (the hard way), they will takes steps to correct it so it's pretty much a one shot. So I would like it to a memorable complication, but not focus an entire run around it or make it to nasty (like having the Star swarm down on them or something).

Also, while the hackers my players ticked off were pretty small time, they do have a fairly high power hacker angry at them as well. It's very likely the two groups will come in contact.

Ideas I've had (and rejected so far)
- Delivery of pizza/chinese/whatever to their appartment - to small scale, not necessarily indicative of a Commlink hack.
- Star/Yakuza/Mob bust in on them - to large scale a complication

I guess my creativity just isn't up to the task, what evil things might you throw at them in this situation?
Listen/Record all phone calls and communications, intercept file transfers, obtain phonebook, adresses, list of purchases, preferences. Know at all times where the runner is.

One possible scenario: next time the runners get hired by a johnson to swipe files off a corporate hard drive, the hacker, being of course fully aware of all of the plans, waits for the runners to obtain the file. He then downloads it off the commlink, sells it on the blackmarket to the highest bidder, then sends a mail to the victim corp telling them exactly who stole their stuff and where to find them.

Another: build a dossier on the shadowrunner. Sell in on the blackmarket. And wouldn't you know it, the runner's arch nemesis is the buyer. Good bye, runner.

Anyway at all you look at it, the next character the player is going to make will pay more attention to the security of his PAN.
Err, I thought the idea was for it to be a major, but not fatal screw job.

In any case, the current small-time hackers would probably pull the same pranks any script kiddie would. The runners get random deliveries of things they didn't order (from pizza to porn). Their bank account starts going down faster than expected. They can't seem to turn off spam zones or go into hidden mode. Random people reply to messages they send out asking the generic "Err, I got this message, but I don't know you." sort of responses from Joe Q. Public.

If they still don't get it, then congratulations, the runner is the proud owner of a fully valid and real SIN, or perhaps SINs. Any fake SIN they have used in that commlink becomes real and valid. With all their real biometric data, current address, all restricted possessions registered, all bank accounts tagged, Awakened status logged, etc, etc, etc. All previous data for that fake SIN mysteriously disappears (or not, even, leading to some hard questions when it first gets used). If they somehow (a) don't get it and (b) talk themselves out of trouble, then their entire criminal record gets appended to said SINs, "detain for questioning" flags appear regarding any forbidden items they might possess or have possessed.

If, after all that, they STILL don't get it, then just give up and toss the Star at them. Or do something similar to what Backgammon suggested.
Rocks fall, everybody dies.

Seriously, spurious charges. Have them deduct amounts from their cash balance, maybe have a package they didn't order show up at their doorstep, stuff like that.

Then have them walk into a firefight where the opposition is constantly sniping them through the available cover without blindfire penalties.

steal thier money.
QUOTE (yesman)
steal thier money.

or worse yet, have the hacker delete thier fake SIN from the commlink. That will raise some eyebrows really quickly.
Have them start sending spam to nearby people or attempt to crack other nearby machines automatically.

Anyone who doesnt have cyberwear disconnected from the wireless system is crazy, especially things like smartguns, cyberlegs and whatnot. Why would you need wireless access on something that is hardwired into your body.

That being said its always nice to get a letter from your mom complaining about you sending her bestiality porn. Or that you just bought every share of Fuchi you could lay your grubby paws on. And of course nothing like your inventory of highly illegal weapons getting sent to Lone Star. Or the location of all your sagehouses going to every johnson on your address book.

Really any party that relies heavily on commlinks (or anything with wireless access) gets what it deserves. Use outmoded equipemtn It would be like the FBI breaking into your house and finding out all your data was saved onto a bunch of 5.25" floppies using a word processor on a tandy. Great, they've got the data, anyone got a working Tandy?

Yeah its conveniant to have a commlink, every character should probably have one. But anything you have on it is practically public domain, the bad guys WILL get it at some point. Any important data should be stored in some kind of inert storage (floppies, CDs, anything) that is NOT connected to any live system when it isnt needed.

What would be real fun is if they have a way to access each others commlinks "secure" on the compromised ones. Then the weak links become trojan horses.

just my .02 nuyen.gif
Yeah, start with the small pranks, then quickly escalate to an "Oh shit, why didn't I do something to stop this!" event.
Have them get an email from their fixer giving them the location of a meeting with a Johnson. They should be suspicious when they notice that the meeting is at a nice house in an upper-middle class neighborhood. If they do choose to go in they are greeted by a young teenage elf girl who promptly vanishes and is replaced by Chris Hansen of Dateline NBC (who has obviously benefited from Leonization).

We see where this is going, right?

After a rather embarasing interrogation in from of Dateline cameras, in which they learn of some very lewd messages that have been sent from their comlinks to fat naked middle aged ork FBI agents claiming to be hot bisexual teenage elf girls, they are confronted by a small group of Lone Star officers, nothing that the runners can'thanddle, but annoying none the less.
If they do get captured by the Star then it is a good opportunity to introduce them to Bubba the Love Troll.
The next time they buy something, have the seller refuse the sale because they don't have enough money on their comm
Well, how do they interact with their commlinks? Do they regular immerse themselves in AR with image linked contacts or shades, do they have a sim module for the occasional BTL?

If they do use image links, (even if it's just for a smartgun hookup, or AR text messaging) then you have the opportunity to start messing with their perceptions: have the hackers load up some ARE softs - Virtual Weather ™ to make night day or day night, add some fog to screw with optic functions, redecorate their apartment with tacky teenie-pop posters (or Troll on Dwarf porn) with Wall Space ™, give them mice in the walls with a Virtual Pet ™ or a cat that won't stop wailing until 5 am. Things can escalate if they use AR regularly, to the point of giving them hallucinations or nightmares with a Virtual Person ™ sim. They could have a virtual stalker who seems, inexplicably, to be able to invade their lives, anyplace or anywhere, or, more seriously, you could screw with their targeting: shooting at opponents only they can see (or, since they're both awakened, have them both see it while the rest of the party is ignorant. Is it a glitch, or something magical?).

Similarly, you can have fun with real audio if it their earbuds are linked for comms use. Sudden bursts of painful static costing them initiative, whispered voices giving commands or pleading for help, old recorded audio of lovers, friends, or ex-partners suddenly playing in their ears.

And, well, the options if they have a Sim module just expand exponentially, moreso if its rigged for Hot Sim. In that case you can actually have illusory experiences having physical effects on the characters

If you play it right and keep it subtle, you can drive the character (and player) slowly mad.
Thanks for all the ideas. I think I'll use the one with their Commlinks spewing insulting/provocative soliciations to everyone they meet. Probably something sexual and/or along the lines of their being intrested in becoming a submissive or something along similar lines. Should garner some intresting replies next time the show up at a nightclub or even as they walk down a crowded street. And it not necessarily obvious so they might not pick up that it's their commlinks that are causing this. Hehe, can be a running gag for some time perhapse...

Later I can escelate it with more obvious clues (pizza deliver stuff maybe) and bring in the big nasty hacker bad guy when I feel like doing a run about him again.

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