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Long time SR player, been away for a few years, just starting up a SR4 campaign.

Very green on the new system, especially the wireless world. I've been scanning the forums and reading the book, but Im trying to figure out exactly how a hacker is run during combat.

It seems that a Hacker can shut down or command devices in combat, but how is it done by the rules? Opposed to standard combat, i.e. shooting a gun, it appears to be pretty complicated.

1) Find the node (According to the node's mode, this could take a while. hacking a hidden PAN requires 16 hits? Mind you, not everything is hidden, but most runners PAN's will be)

2) Hack access rights

3) Spoof a command or crash the device through cybercombat

Is this more or less correct?

Alternatively, if a hacker finds your PAN, can he simply just attack it via cybercombat and crash it? If possible, what are the effects of it?

Basically, Im trying to figure out if the Hacker has his own niche in a combat or if he's stuck being a hybrid st sam like in previous editions.

Basic Drone Hacking

1) Find the node (SR p225)
2) Decrypt the wireless traffic (SR p225)
3) Intercept the wireless signal (SR p225)

At this stage you have a few options - spoof commands one at a time or hack in for a full admin account

4) Spoof Command (SR p224)
5) Hacking In (SR p 221)

And yes, if an enemy hacker finds you PAN, he can attack it and attempt to crash the OS, which is why you may not want to have all of your character's electronics connected to your PAN.

Hackers definitely have a place in combat. If they can duck down and find cover, they can try to take over enemy drones, crash enemy PANs, screw with the security system and all kinds of other mischievous things.
James McMurray
Finding a hidden node only takes 15+ hits if you don't know what you're looking for. If you see a commlink that isn't broadcasting you can search for it much more quickly. Of course, if it's turned off you just wasted time.
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