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Blitzkrieg
With the ubiquitous Comlink networks, and Nexi around these days, it is hard to know exactly how we do simple things like shop.
So I ask you? Where is an individual's wealth kept?

We know that in the main stream it is either pure data or on cred sticks, but is this data...

In the banks?
Stored on the Comlink?
In the corp banks?
Exclusively in the form of credit based on future work? (There is no real money per say but rather hours of employee work.)
In independent banks?

I would appriciate any theories on the matter, it looked to me like the books seem to waffle slightly on the subject.

Here's how I believe it works.
Forgive me if this is confusing but I am trying to map the parties/Nodes involved in a simple transaction at the fashion boutique. They "talk to eachother."

Buyer=Buyer's Comlink
Shop=The shop's "Comlink"
The buyer’s bank: BANK A's Nexus
The shop’s bank: BANK B's Nexus

Buyer: Picks up a pair of pants she likes and Selects buy on her Comlink.
[/indent] From Buyer To Shop: “I want to buy these pants.?
Buyer to Bank A: “I want to buy these pants.?
BANK A to Buyer: “Request verification of Buyer Comcode, and Identity, including personal tidbit of info that only you would know.?
Buyer to BANK A: “Here are my papers BANK A, and here is my verifying personal info tidbit which only I would know, which proves I’m me.?
BANK A to Buyer and Shop: “Everything checks out.?
From Shop to Buyer: “Let me call your bank, BANK A, to see if they heard you?
From Shop to BANK A: “Buyer is buying pants.?
BANK A to Buyer: “Request verification of Buyer Comcode, and Shop Identity.?
Buyer to BANK A: “Here are my papers officer.?
BANK A to Buyer and Shop: “We have the buyer on the other line, they approve, Everything checks out.?
BANK A to Shop: “Where should I transfer the money to??
Shop to BANK A: “To BANK B?
BANK A to BANK B: “I am releasing $50 to you BANK B, for these pants.?
[indent]
BANK B To all parties: “All’s well and have a nice day, Here are your receipts.?
BANK A, BANK B SHOP and BUYER all receive an electronic receipt, which states.

The Buyer’s Receipt
BUYER has purchased Pants for $50 from SHOP 50$ was deducted from their account in BANK A.

The Shop’s receipt:
BUYER has purchased Pants for $50 from SHOP 50$ was deducted from their account, in BANK A to BANK B

BANK B’s receipt:
BUYER has purchased Pants for $50 from SHOP 50$ was deducted from their account, from BANK A to BANK B

Is this the correct model for an everyday exchange?
Synner667
Seems ok, in simple terms.
There might be something in there about permits and authorisation, in respect to vehicles or weapons [an extra check, rather than a change to the above].

"Bank C" ??
Blitzkrieg
I was working from a word file and didn't catch it until now, thanks. I'll edit right away, and also for legibility.
Screaming Eagle
Edited to include to work of HakZoR, He will p00n u N00bz!
QUOTE (Blitzkrieg @ Sep 15 2009, 03:57 PM) *
With the ubiquitous Comlink networks, and Nexi around these days, it is hard to know exactly how we do simple things like shop.
So I ask you? Where is an individual's wealth kept?

We know that in the main stream it is either pure data or on cred sticks, but is this data...

In the banks?
Stored on the Comlink?
In the corp banks?
Exclusively in the form of credit based on future work? (There is no real money per say but rather hours of employee work.)
In independent banks?

I would appriciate any theories on the matter, it looked to me like the books seem to waffle slightly on the subject.

Here's how I believe it works.
Forgive me if this is confusing but I am trying to map the parties/Nodes involved in a simple transaction at the fashion boutique. They "talk to eachother."

Shop=The shop's "Comlink"
The buyer’s bank: BANK A's Nexus
The shop’s bank: BANK B's Nexus
HakZor=HakZor's Comlink (quickly abreviated to H)

HakZoR: Picks up a pair of pants she likes, intersepts some wireless traffic of the old BUYER (any random idiot) and Selects buy on her Comlink.
[/indent] From H To Shop: “I want to buy these pants.?
H to Bank A: “I want to buy these pants.?
BANK A to Buyer: “Request verification of Buyer Comcode, and Identity, including personal tidbit of info that only you would know.?
H to BANK A: “Here are my SPOOF BANK A, and here is my STOLEN personal info tidbit which only I would know, which proves I’m me.?
BANK A to H and Shop: “Everything checks out.?
From Shop to H: “Let me call your bank, BANK A, to see if they heard you?
From Shop to BANK A: “Buyer is buying pants.?
BANK A to Buyer: “Request verification of Buyer Comcode, and Shop Identity.?
H to BANK A: “Here are my SPOOF officer.?
BANK A to H and Shop: “We have the buyer on the other line, they approve, Everything checks out.?
BANK A to Shop: “Where should I transfer the money to??
Shop to BANK A: “To BANK B?
BANK A to BANK B: “I am releasing $50 to you BANK B, for these pants.?
[indent]
BANK B To all parties: “All’s well and have a nice day, Here are your receipts.?
BANK A, BANK B SHOP and BUYER(I assume H doesn't care about the receipt so BUYER still gets it and bemoanes their lousy firewall) all receive an electronic receipt, which states.

The Buyer’s Receipt
BUYER has purchased Pants for $50 from SHOP 50$ was deducted from their account in BANK A.

The Shop’s receipt:
BUYER has purchased Pants for $50 from SHOP 50$ was deducted from their account, in BANK A to BANK B

BANK B’s receipt:
BUYER has purchased Pants for $50 from SHOP 50$ was deducted from their account, from BANK A to BANK B

Is this the correct model for an everyday exchange?

Yes, this is how a hacker buys things.
kzt
This looks a reasonable approach, given the incrediable vagueness of SR on this. The drawback to this view is that who takes it in the shorts from this is either the bank or the shop. Which is SR means you a megacorp. Why does a megacorp allow themselves to be defrauded?

Which rolls back around to electronic commerce requires strong encryption. Otherwise hackers can essentially mint money, there is a 25% chance that the next call from your fixer is really a Lone Star detective (and 5% it's the bored 12 year old two door down) and the idea of a secure matrix site is a joke.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (kzt @ Sep 15 2009, 03:07 PM) *
This looks a reasonable approach, given the incrediable vagueness of SR on this. The drawback to this view is that who takes it in the shorts from this is either the bank or the shop. Which is SR means you a megacorp. Why does a megacorp allow themselves to be defrauded?

Which rolls back around to electronic commerce requires strong encryption. Otherwise hackers can essentially mint money, there is a 25% chance that the next call from your fixer is really a Lone Star detective (and 5% it's the bored 12 year old two door down) and the idea of a secure matrix site is a joke.



But according to the above example, encryption at the Bank or Shop has absolutely nothing to do with it... it is the encryption on the Comlink that the AID was stolen from (the consumer)... and as we all know, the consumer is the weak link here...
Kerenshara
Well, one of the things that comlinks did was replace credsticks. All comlinks have the ability to READ and WRITE to credsticks, so I imagine the're probably an inate ability to store "cash" right on the comlink. I doubt it's big, but even in the wonderful wireless 6th World, some people'd just rather not be bothered having to do the whole bank routine just to buy stuffers or flats. Also important in the "adult entertainment" industry. You make it so that chip is not connected to the rest of the 'link in any way. It has the same safeguards against hacking as a regular credstick. It's just so much easier. Not to mention, there isn't always wireless access EVERYWHERE for buying things, so having a LITTLE cash on hand is a good thing.

It's really no different today. People use debit cards for nearly all purchases but really small ones or remote ones, they pull out that small amount of cash they're carrying that they're willing to chance "losing".

So those transactions are directly peer-to-peer under the same rules as the old credstick system.

That's my take on it, at any rate.

Let's also not forget that Corp Scrip still exists.
kzt
In SR you can trivially snoop all the traffic around you, encrypted or not (because you can break the encryption trivially). So you know the "verifying personal info tidbit which only I would know, which proves I’m me" because you overheard it. Not to mention that it's not much harder for a hacker to just hack their comlink and have them buy it for you. Or transfer all their money to you via a chain of difficult to track transactions.
Ancient History
This will be cleared up a bit in Corp Guide. Or so I hope that it proves illuminating.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Sep 15 2009, 03:27 PM) *
Well, one of the things that comlinks did was replace credsticks. All comlinks have the ability to READ and WRITE to credsticks, so I imagine the're probably an inate ability to store "cash" right on the comlink. I doubt it's big, but even in the wonderful wireless 6th World, some people'd just rather not be bothered having to do the whole bank routine just to buy stuffers or flats. Also important in the "adult entertainment" industry. You make it so that chip is not connected to the rest of the 'link in any way. It has the same safeguards against hacking as a regular credstick. It's just so much easier. Not to mention, there isn't always wireless access EVERYWHERE for buying things, so having a LITTLE cash on hand is a good thing.

It's really no different today. People use debit cards for nearly all purchases but really small ones or remote ones, they pull out that small amount of cash they're carrying that they're willing to chance "losing".

So those transactions are directly peer-to-peer under the same rules as the old credstick system.

That's my take on it, at any rate.

Let's also not forget that Corp Scrip still exists.



Nope, I also use the Debit Card for all of those trivial purchases (such as a 39 cent Candy bar)... it is so much easier that way... It is a true rarity when I actually have any cash on hand... in the past it was usually when I was going to those "Adult Entertainment" locations you mentioned, back before I was maried.

Keep the Faith
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (kzt @ Sep 15 2009, 03:30 PM) *
In SR you can trivially snoop all the traffic around you, encrypted or not (because you can break the encryption trivially). So you know the "verifying personal info tidbit which only I would know, which proves I’m me" because you overheard it. Not to mention that it's not much harder for a hacker to just hack their comlink and have them buy it for you. Or transfer all their money to you via a chain of difficult to track transactions.



Exactly...
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Sep 15 2009, 05:40 PM) *
This will be cleared up a bit in Corp Guide.

It's about time. After the disappointing description in Arsenal of how GridGuideTM deals with the threat of a planet full of bored hackers (In short, they don't bother too much with matrix security, preferring to throw out of court settlements and hush money at the real-world victims of accidents caused by such hacks; an absurd proposition considering how frequent malicious hacks would have to be), I'm keenly interested in seeing any official description of how the banking industry keeps from imploding due to credit fraud in a world where hacking is as easy as it is.

Especially if it explains why the nearly totally meatspace-based Forgery skill is needed for duplicating the electronic nuyen contained on a certified credstick.
Ancient History
Well, keep your shorts on. Space limitations being what they were, I couldn't cover everything.

QUOTE (RunnerPaul @ Sep 15 2009, 11:46 PM) *
Especially if it explains why the nearly totally meatspace-based Forgery skill is needed for duplicating the electronic nuyen contained on a certified credstick.

This I can explain, though. Forgery concerns more than just the technical draftsmanship of, say, duplicating someone's signature on a check or making an exact plate in relief to counterfeit a dollar bill; it's the art and science of recognizing and circumventing security procedures - knowing how the system functions and how an item can be successfully introduced into a system and pass as a part of it.

That's a bit high-falutin' speak, but compare it to the Exploit program. The Exploit is functionally a collection of smaller programs that take advantage of flaws or errors in the code to achieve something a user is not supposed to do, continually evolving to meet the demands of the hacker. Modern examples of exploits would be hitting 4-2-3-1 on a Coca Cola machine to access its vendor menu or text-editing a file in a trial version of a program to give yourself more time to use it without paying the company; each of these exploits is specific to a device or program, and since a passable Shadowrun hacker would need at least hundreds of these to get by, it is impractical for them to have a list of individual programs or exploits; hence the Exploit program is used instead to represent a collection of such exploits and programs that implement them. Similarly, Forgery handles all the skills involved in any sort of counterfeiting or document obfuscation - from holoweave UCAS dollar bills to duplicating a certified credstick full of red yen, the Renraku corporate scrip.
Krypter
QUOTE (RunnerPaul @ Sep 15 2009, 06:46 PM) *
I'm keenly interested in seeing any official description of how the banking industry keeps from imploding due to credit fraud in a world where hacking is as easy as it is.

Why doesn't the current banking sector implode due to credit fraud given how easy it is to spear phish? Why aren't there 30 million dead Americans given how absurdly easy it is to purchase a firearm and shoot someone in the face? Now, the idea that GridGuide is buying off all it's intruders is ridiculous, but it's equally ridiculous to assume that everyone good with computers is a malicious, evil bastard...and that it's trivially easy to escape the long reach of the law and the megacorps.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Krypter @ Sep 15 2009, 07:19 PM) *
Why doesn't the current banking sector implode due to credit fraud given how easy it is to spear phish? Why aren't there 30 million dead Americans given how absurdly easy it is to purchase a firearm and shoot someone in the face? Now, the idea that GridGuide is buying off all it's intruders is ridiculous, but it's equally ridiculous to assume that everyone good with computers is a malicious, evil bastard...and that it's trivially easy to escape the long reach of the law and the megacorps.

Well, the things to keep in mind here are:

First: There really aren't THAT many hackers in either a per-capita basis or absolute basis. Probably fewer than Awakened, when you get right down to it.

Second: Not all hackers are actually necessarily planning to damage other people's credit when it's just as easy/hard to create yourself a profile all your own. Surprisingly enough, many hackers have a code of ethics they go by. Just because you're an accomplished hacker doesn't mean you're a hardened criminal willing to hurt innocent people. Besides which, that's not as challenging as doing the same thing to a MegaCorp. Now THAT's worthy of a hacker's time!

Third: Most hackers understand that there are two kinds of hacks: small subtle hacks people are unlikely to notice in time to do anythig to YOU about it, and big elaborate hacks where you take the time to make sure things don't come back to bite you. If a hacker got greedy, they'd eventually slip up enough to get caught. Put another way, when you're dealing with enough zeroes after the first digit, even fairly hefty absolute sums can vanish in "rounding errors". The US government says that the "Stimulus Plan" is one of the "cleanest" government programs in history with sub single digit fraud, but put against the hundreds of billiions of dollars, that's still 4-5 billion - with a B - that's been successfully embezzled. That's not to say that big scams aren't going on, but they usually take a network of cooperating people with lots of planning and support. The worry about "every minor hacker" is largely counteracted by the fact that most those "minor" hackers have less interest in stealing from individual people than they do in paying their own bills; Just hack the company you want to steal from (and they're not "people" right?) and do your thing, then clean up behind yourself, and as long as you weren't greedy, they're unlikely to even notice, much less go looking for you. But if you, say, arranged for the mis-shipment of a case of Thunderstruck Gauss Rifles, that's going to get noticed and QUICK! Making it so the computers THINK you already paid your light bill... well, that's just one more electronic payment ammong millions, right?
Blade
Shadowrun has this trouble that, in order to be useful and fun to play, the hacker has to be able to hack the secure network of a secure facility. At the same time, he has to be unable to just hack a bank and get rich (or any other kind of hacks that could make it more interesting for him than running the Shadows).

Technical limitations can help: for example, the banking network can use specific mechanisms that can only be used in the banking context but restrict hacking possibilities. For example, they can get around encryption weakness by having very short communications that can't be decrypted before the transaction is over. But this probably can't always work, so you have to have a non technical explanation too.
Mine has to do with the repercussion. When you hack a secure facility, steal important research data and bring it back to your Johnson, the corp you attacked doesn't have any reason to look for you. They know that the data has already leaked and capturing/killing you won't change anything about it.
It's completely different for a bank: if you steal money, they'll look for you. And they'll probably have enough resources to do so, maybe even the help of the G.O.D.
hobgoblin
Kerenshara brings up a good point, be to flamboyant about your capabilities, and a corp court task force will probably land on your location...

this is not much different from credit card fraud, in that the kiddies will just charge the biggest, shiniest thing they can get their hands on, and then run, while the true pro will charge everyday things on it and probably fly below radar for months or years.

one interesting movie to view could be this one:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0264464/

and from what i understand, its based of a true story.

and thats one guy doing his thing with fast talk and a keen eye for procedure.
Screaming Eagle
Even today the BUYER is the weak link and it is typically the buyer who pays one way or another: yes you have fraud insurance, but you pay for that, either up front with a policy or on the back end with fees and interest rates. Trust me, the corp won't take a hit on the pair of pants until you errode their consumer trust by defrauding huge numbers of people and force the rates up. Then they will find you and nail you to the wall as an example to others - seriously, anything you can do they can do better. Just make sure it isn't worth their time to come and get you and you should be fine.

For a fraud perspective, know your target well enough (and that is getting easier and easier by the year with social networking et. all.) and they will probably NEVER notice. Buy groceries at their usual store or corner convienece store they frequent, keep the purchases small and they won't ever blink. Do this to 10 or so people and you will never make a small purchase again saving yourself/ stealing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars a year... untill something gums up but if you are carful this will be years, many, many years.
In the above example BUYER will most likely have a full list of purchases they have made on their link, in fact I would assume this is standard and any responceable citizen (too few) check this electronically againt their bank statement regularly making it MORE secure then modern credit cards etc. owing to verification ease.
All this does for the industrius hacker is add an extra step to check if you do this double check with your bank - a good criminal will seek the path of least resistance, if you own a dog he'll check the next house till he finds one that doesn't have a dog - same idea, it just that now its electronic dogs.

Hacking isn't free in Shadowrun - there is a decent sized outlay of time and money for a link that can hack, the programs and the skill to use both. Encrypion etc. in Shadowrun exists for the same reason locks do today: they keep honest men honest.
Eventually, doing this often enough for long enough, you will get caught and the police will be at your door. At this point you get arrested or start running, both achive the same end: your current criminal activities stop because you, the hacker, cannot know which of your hacks got you caught (unless you TOTALLY DO, which is a different story)

To in part support this I continue to keep Certified cred relativly common - some people know the hackers way and refuse to put their banking info on the air or on their links at all and cash can still be used in many stores (they have a little sticker saying so and a big one advising the safe/deposit till cannot be opened by the staff and that change will not be provided in the form of cash).
Blitzkrieg
Either that or with a disposable comlink replace BANK B with your bank, BANK C. For one day all the cash goes to zurich orbital who doesn't care where it's from and conserves your anonymity. The money goes from buyer to shop to your bank. Then do the next few runs for favors instead of cash.

Of course one Hacker on the system and you're screwed. Heck any number of things and your screwed. Information would have to be forged and sent to all parties. You would need to act for small blocks of time, etc.

Of course that is kind of what a big hack is. Trying to break the bank/shop whatever.
Bugfoxmaster
QUOTE (Blade @ Sep 16 2009, 02:57 AM) *
Shadowrun has this trouble that, in order to be useful and fun to play, the hacker has to be able to hack the secure network of a secure facility. At the same time, he has to be unable to just hack a bank and get rich (or any other kind of hacks that could make it more interesting for him than running the Shadows).

Technical limitations can help: for example, the banking network can use specific mechanisms that can only be used in the banking context but restrict hacking possibilities. For example, they can get around encryption weakness by having very short communications that can't be decrypted before the transaction is over. But this probably can't always work, so you have to have a non technical explanation too.
Mine has to do with the repercussion. When you hack a secure facility, steal important research data and bring it back to your Johnson, the corp you attacked doesn't have any reason to look for you. They know that the data has already leaked and capturing/killing you won't change anything about it.
It's completely different for a bank: if you steal money, they'll look for you. And they'll probably have enough resources to do so, maybe even the help of the G.O.D.


I believe technical points in this vein are the best way to prevent simple bank fraud from taking all the hackers off the table - the banks could also use a very specialized wired transfer system, which'd immediately eliminate some part of the problem - it wouldn't be so easy to hack the banks any more. Additionally, I think the point about stealing from a bank resulting in them chasing you is legitimate - it's one of the big points against just bank robbery as a means to cash.
TheOOB
Remember that the matrix 2.0 protocols are not public domain, they where corp created and only the corporate court knows everything about how the matrix works. It is within their power to create certain key networks that are virtually impossible to hack using normal devices. Just as in the real world if a computer uses something other then TCP/IP protocol it is difficult to connect and manipulate, the banks and grid guide could run on a similar system.

Also remember that G.O.D. exists, and they are scary. There are certain crimes that if committed will get G.O.D. send after you, and they have more time, money, manpower, and skill than you.
Bugfoxmaster
QUOTE (TheOOB @ Sep 16 2009, 09:29 AM) *
Remember that the matrix 2.0 protocols are not public domain, they where corp created and only the corporate court knows everything about how the matrix works. It is within their power to create certain key networks that are virtually impossible to hack using normal devices. Just as in the real world if a computer uses something other then TCP/IP protocol it is difficult to connect and manipulate, the banks and grid guide could run on a similar system.

Also remember that G.O.D. exists, and they are scary. There are certain crimes that if committed will get G.O.D. send after you, and they have more time, money, manpower, and skill than you.


Sensible, but why not place the entirety of the wireless network on such a non-standard protocol? Ok, never mind, I know that one, but seriously, why shouldn't a given AAA-corp just place all important systems (LIKE SECURITY) on a non-standard (in normal-days example, non-TCP/IP) protocol system, and thus make their defenses extremely dense and tougher? And the Corporate Court doesn't get magical powers to know how the matrix works - clearly hackers know enough to fuck with it, and the people who put it together and programmed it... well yeah... and only certain companies, like NEOnet were involved in the contstruction - what gives Aztechnology any real knowledge of it beyond the amount others'd know? Etcetera applies.
milk ducks
Banks almost certainly operate using a fair amount of cold storage - that is, networks that are still linked together by miles of fiberoptic spaghetti, and aren't accessable by wireless communications except in very limited ways. When a customer on location at a store wants to buy a pair of pants, they send out a transaction request from their 'links that get picked up by bank nodes that are designated "receive only"; meaning they can accept incoming wireless information, but aren't functionally capable of transmitting information back. These nodes are physically connected, via fiberoptic cables, to more secure banking networks on site, but have only user-level access, which only permits them to input information, such as transaction requests. The request is then processed by the cold storage network, and sent back out to a different fiberoptically-linked terminal designated "transmit only"; meaning it can only send information, and is not functionally capable of picking up incoming wireless signals.

I can't see any real way for a hacker to negotiate that system illegally, without actually being on site to access the cold storage network where the goodies are hiding.

-milk.
eidolon
o/` Because it's a gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame, baby, because it's a gaaaaaame. o/`
Kerenshara
QUOTE (milk ducks @ Sep 16 2009, 12:47 PM) *
Banks almost certainly operate using a fair amount of cold storage - that is, networks that are still linked together by miles of fiberoptic spaghetti, and aren't accessable by wireless communications except in very limited ways.

There's a weakness to this statement that I think you fail to grok completely, or you wouldn't have made it at all. If a system is in ANY way hooked up to the matrix, it's going to be vulnerable. In order to be able to interact with devices communicating via the matrix, it has to connect somehow. Individual comlinks are defacto POS (Point Of Sale) terminals, so there MUST be connectevity SOMEHOW to comlinks. Ergo, you're going to have to be vulnerable. And the more you concentrate flow through any single gateway, the more you're going to slow things down. Contrary to popular belief, most banks are housed in the same datacenters as places like this very forum. Given the way virtual processing is developing, they MIGHT be running on the same processor, though that's a bit of a stretch. And that's not just small banks, either; Some of the really BIG banks outsource their online processing. Now, the banks might just wise up and put all their servers (Nexi) in some great huge basement somewhere under the aegis of the Corporate Court but... they're more worried about their competition hacking in through those dedicated connections than they are about some jerk hacker. That's why they hire spiders and freelance "security consultants", right? Remember: these decisions are being made in boardrooms by people who have only the vaguest notion about how things like networks or processors actually work and THEIR focus is on their bonuses.

QUOTE
When a customer on location at a store wants to buy a pair of pants, they send out a transaction request from their 'links that get picked up by bank nodes that are designated "receive only"; meaning they can accept incoming wireless information, but aren't functionally capable of transmitting information back. These nodes are physically connected, via fiberoptic cables, to more secure banking networks on site, but have only user-level access, which only permits them to input information, such as transaction requests. The request is then processed by the cold storage network, and sent back out to a different fiberoptically-linked terminal designated "transmit only"; meaning it can only send information, and is not functionally capable of picking up incoming wireless signals.

I can't see any real way for a hacker to negotiate that system illegally, without actually being on site to access the cold storage network where the goodies are hiding.

The problem with those restricted "in" and "out" connections is that you need to be able to verify that the transmitted date matches received data and if there is doubt, request a retransmit. I flat don't think you could build a functional system the way you describe. Worse, by putting all those eggs in one basket, you're just begging for some catastrophe to take out a LOT of important systems.
That "cold storage" is of primary use in restoring catastrophic damage. If it's available quickly and easily, it's not really "cold".
Paul
Yeah Kerenshara's wonderful answers aside I don't buy into any of this. Luckily I don't have to. Considering how massive I picture the SINless population to be the death of actual cash is just too hard for me to buy. Less, harder to get, devalued? Absolutely. All electronic? B U L L S H I T. Even with disposable commlinks, and other hand waving make believe suggestions and excuses I just can't buy into it.

And like Eidolon mentions, it's just a game. So I can happily ignore the crap out of much of the wireless garbage SR4 tries to sell and get down to stuff that's actually fun for my group.
Synner667
QUOTE (Paul @ Sep 16 2009, 11:08 PM) *
Yeah Kerenshara's wonderful answers aside I don't buy into any of this. Luckily I don't have to. Considering how massive I picture the SINless population to be the death of actual cash is just too hard for me to buy. Less, harder to get, devalued? Absolutely. All electronic? B U L L S H I T. Even with disposable commlinks, and other hand waving make believe suggestions and excuses I just can't buy into it.

You're more likely to get bartering for goods and services in the SINless population, and possible anywhere outside the metroplexes, since they probably won't be printing any hard currency.
Paul
Every barter system eventually stabilizes, and some sort of "currency" is agreed upon. In the prison system it's bars of soap. Since convicts can't have cash money, and are supposed to use an electronic accounting system circumventing it means using what they have access to. One soap is about one dollar. Soap is the new money.

2070 would be no different. Each region, district or whatever would settle on something, and that would become the anchor of the bartering system. In a world where anyone can already ruin thousands, even millions of peoples lives with the stroke of a key I fail to see how 2070 would produce less pissed, overly intelligent too much time having computer pricks and not more.

Maybe that's not how your game runs, and that's cool.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Paul @ Sep 16 2009, 05:08 PM) *
Yeah Kerenshara's wonderful answers aside I don't buy into any of this. Luckily I don't have to. Considering how massive I picture the SINless population to be the death of actual cash is just too hard for me to buy. Less, harder to get, devalued? Absolutely. All electronic? B U L L S H I T. Even with disposable commlinks, and other hand waving make believe suggestions and excuses I just can't buy into it.

You know, you can just as easily "look the other way" and stick with the old CredSticks for "bank" accounts, as opposed to "credit" accounts. When real money changes hands, there needs to be a hardware confirmation of some kind. But anybody can order garbage online with their smartphone and a Visa card, right?

Certified Credsticks can make stick-to-stick transfers directly, so there's no reason the SiNless would abandon them, and EVERY comlink has a credstick reader. They are, in many ways, the "cash" of SR4; Paper Scrip has become somewhat oddball while comlinks and credit accounts have picked up where old standard (non-certified) credsticks left off. Why carry a wad of Plasper (Plastic Paper) currency when something the size of a USB flash drive will do? (As a side note, yet another area where the original writers were oddly clairvoyant re: credsticks/flash drives) They're hard enough to forge that the Governments are cool with them staying around, and even skeptics on the street without a SiN should be confident in the funds on their 'stick.
Paul
Yeah there's lot's of options. In reality I don't see why all of them can't exist side by side-barter in some spots, cash in others, credsticks in still others, and wireless cred in others. I mean it's a big world right?
Synner667
QUOTE (Paul @ Sep 17 2009, 01:07 AM) *
Yeah there's lot's of options. In reality I don't see why all of them can't exist side by side-barter in some spots, cash in others, credsticks in still others, and wireless cred in others. I mean it's a big world right?

I read a Traveller article in White Dwarf, many years ago which talks about this...
...They had multiple ways of carrying credit - rich people would have subdermal chips, most people would have cards, people in non-technical places would have credit bars that are basically used up as their value decreases.
milk ducks
QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Sep 16 2009, 05:32 PM) *
I flat don't think you could build a functional system the way you describe.


I used to be a network admin for the county I live in, and I can tell you from personal experience that this is pretty much exactly how things work now; we provide wi-fi access within our government centre, and that system can be accessed and controlled from the primary network but not the other way around. This is intentional, and there's physically no way to break into the primary system from within the wireless range; it's not configured that way. If you want access to the main hub, you need to be stationed at a terminal within the building.

If we can do that now, it's only going to be easier in the Sixth World.

-milk.
kzt
We do the same thing, and the critical issue you miss is that there is a firewall that provides this separation. In SR this is not a serious obstacle.

The other critical difference that is often overlooked is that "web browsing" in SR is 95% of what an electronic attacker wants to do in the real world, which is run THEIR code on YOUR host. That's what the icon is. The only thing other thing they need to do is priv escalation.
Orcus Blackweather
Wow, I love this topic. I do this stuff for a living. I work with payment card data security every day.

1)All credit transactions eventually hit a secure node. In the real world, these are secured through multiple layers. While nothing is unassailable, no one short of superman (or a motivated group of insiders) will seriously dent these security strictures. In game you are slaved to zurich orbital or some other really scary (say system 18 firewall 18 with rating 18 black ice and the best of the best in spiders running).

2)Credit companies don't feel pain. In order to steal massive amounts of money, you need to be stealing in a pattern, and patterns are recognizable. It may take a week, a month, or 20 years, but if you steal too much they will find you. This is both real world and shadowrun. If you steal dinner, it gets written off as petty theft and ignored (after being cataloged through a heuristics database). If you do the exact same theft for too long they will be waiting for you.

3)Money in the real world is all data. The federal reserve in the United States catalogs large transfers of money through banks and other monetary organizations. Money travels along secured networks dedicated for this purpose. These wires never touch ordinary data, and the security on them is also scary. The pathetic amount of cash running around is a minor blip. 100's of trillions of dollars bounce around these secured networks daily, while there are only a few billion in real cash floating at the same time.

I am assuming that in 2070 these networks still exist. So I buy my goods, my comlink automatically uses multi-factor authentication to talk to the banking system through the shop network. Any transaction data is encrypted several times during the conversation, and is all done using disposable passwords to make the entire thing harder to spoof. I would set the whole thing at rating 6 to steal from the shop keeper. Encrypt 6, firewall 6, track 6, whatever might be deemed to be needed here. After all it is basically a dumb terminal slaved to a bank that can afford SOTA security. From here the pretend money exists in a bank database somewhere. When the transaction happens, a few bits travel from one database record to another probably they are ultimately in the same database.
hobgoblin
one thing to consider here, people, is that the matrix history is closer or the US phone network of the 80's, then the internet of the 90's.

that is, the first cyberpunk games modeled their matrix systems and hackers/crackers/deckers on the phone phreaks, people that in one way or another gained access to the switching systems of the phone network, big iron servers and similar.

these where systems that was protected more thru obscurity then true security until things started to reach the press in big type.

and i suspect that any kind of money related systems will have their security tired, so that only the most determined and paranoid will be able to really reach that great vault in the sky and tap it for money.

the food and drink dispensers will be relatively secure against physical and matrix break-ins of a casual nature, but there will be a percentage of kids and adults that knows a way to trick some brands to release their goodies.

then comes people that play around with online shopping services, either by rerouting deliveries or by tricking the systems to send out objects without paying for them.

beyond that one really start messing with things like forging certified cred, banking systems and big corp internal financial structures.

and each step will have more difficult security and checks to keep the riffraff out. hell, the criminals themselves (tho given recent personal reading material on the nature of money and banks, who the criminal really is have become somewhat blurred) may elect to not spread their info to thin, both to keep a status of elite-ness, and also to make sure their tricks keep working for as long as possible (ones a exploit hit the news and info systems, its close to worthless, as any proper admin will device ways to close or limit the risk).

hell, why risk messing with a big bank, when you can stuff a product in a faraday bag and walk past the alarm sensors?

just wear good running shoes if the bag fails its job wink.gif
Chrysalis
First of all money is a group of numbers located in numerous databanks, your money when in the bank does not exist outside of the balance sheet. When you take money out of the ATM, it is not strictly yours, rather it is owned by the country and/or the bank.

The keystone balance information of your account is stored in your bank's databases. Secondary sources for your balance information can include commlinks and credsticks. Secondary sources for your balance information are dependent on the degree of freedom your bank allows for the use of secondary sources to have your balance information.

Further details your account may store are: membership discounts, loans and credit information.

Ultimately, the bank database holding the keystone balance information is the final authority of any transaction. However, this information may be verified not-immediately, instead allowing your credit details (if existent) to extend you a credited sum of the purchases which will be billed from your account during the next banking day.

EDIT: Orcus, beautiful post. Thank you.
Orcus Blackweather
What I posted earlier missed a few points.

When you move money, the transaction looks like a math equation. It will be a bank routing number plus some internal tracking number plus a monetary amount. If you somehow intercepted the packet on the fly, all you would have is the two end points. You cannot take that to the stuffer shack and buy a soycaf. You could theoretically change the destination bank by man in the middle, but then the codes would not match up. At the end of the day, the nuyen still needs to end up in a bank, and they all cooperate to catch bad guys.
kzt
Part of issue is that in SRworld they don't cooperate. The Ares bank doesn't play nicely with the Aztechnology bank, any more than their security services do.
Synner667
Hmmm

Kinda screws the whole hackers have it easy thing, really.

Although, of course, that's only been for people to play RPGs and computer games - 'cos otherwise they can't really do the stuff hackers do in fiction, and would cry.
Synner667
Interestingly enough, there's a story on the BBC website about local communities printing and using their own money.
Orcus Blackweather
QUOTE (kzt @ Sep 17 2009, 09:31 AM) *
Part of issue is that in SRworld they don't cooperate. The Ares bank doesn't play nicely with the Aztechnology bank, any more than their security services do.

You are missing the point. None of these banks are allowed to just print their own Nuyen. The Corporate court would manage this. All of these banks have to cooperate to some degree. Ares can hate Aztech all they want, but they have to cooperate with them to process financial transactions. Otherwise a person who has accounts at the Ares bank could not shop at the stuffer shack or the azmart or buy the new Mitsuhama computer system they wanted.

I suspect that Zurich Orbital acts as a clearing house between these transactions.

Regardless of how it all works. The fundamental rule of metagaming says "Players shall always be screwed if they get too greedy". Since there are some very good reasons in this case to justify it, you need not be ashamed. As GM's when the technomancer or hacker says "Hey, I'm gonna steal a few million from the bank," you may nod and smile serenely knowing that a nice session or two of As the World Explodes will soon be starring the hacker as he tries to get away from everyone.
Adarael
This is an EXCELLENT point. I know a lot of players that assume all the AAAs have the same level of resources in each field (roughly) to play with. But the AAAs have to deal with each other based on (if nothing else) the actual land they hold. Aztechnology, having a really weak hold in eastern europe and Russia, probably has to deal with Saeder-Krupp & Evo any time they need an abundance of Chromium, due to to most of their territory being low in Chromium deposits, and since you can't effectively make jet engines without it, they wouldn't have much of an aircraft division unless they bought extra chromium from other megas. Similarly, I don't imagine Shiawase's reactor division would be able to make much use of their reactors unless they dealt with other corps to get the uranium they need to power those reactors.

Which, naturally, leads to land-based power struggles, mercenaries, shadowruns, and all that other fun stuff we play the game for.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Orcus Blackweather @ Sep 17 2009, 05:52 PM) *
You are missing the point. None of these banks are allowed to just print their own Nuyen.

Quite the contrary!

Each of the megas prints their own paper scrip, and the value in terms of Nuyen is variable usually depending on stock price of the day, and can fluctuate wildly. That's canon all the way back, and still is.
Earlydawn
QUOTE (kzt @ Sep 17 2009, 12:31 PM) *
Part of issue is that in SRworld they don't cooperate. The Ares bank doesn't play nicely with the Aztechnology bank, any more than their security services do.
You've already taken a few licks for this, but just to pile it on - I disagree that the banking branches of the Triple-A megas wouldn't get along, with or without the intenvention of the corporate courts. Sure, each corp is going to have their own scrip, and possibly exchange rates, but they're still going to honor exchanges and transactions between their branches and holdings. It would be essentially impossible for them to do business if they didn't, extraterritorial sovereignty or not. That cooperation is a basic level of economic lubrication.

Wachovia doesn't have any reason to promote or facilitate Chase's business, but they'll still do business with each other as required by the customers, particularly if it involves acquiring more money. Better believe they'd do it whether or not the Fed said to or not. I think people take the "corporate enemies" motif to the extreme.. that really only extends to the shadowrunning aspects of the megacorps, like extradition. They're still businesses.
hobgoblin
QUOTE (kzt @ Sep 17 2009, 06:31 PM) *
Part of issue is that in SRworld they don't cooperate. The Ares bank doesn't play nicely with the Aztechnology bank, any more than their security services do.

oh, but they all cooperate with the big bank in the sky...
hobgoblin
QUOTE (Synner667 @ Sep 17 2009, 08:57 PM) *
Interestingly enough, there's a story on the BBC website about local communities printing and using their own money.

and that just shows what kind of bitch the concept of money really is...

lets just say that modern economists still do not agree on the base concept of money, tho you will find few that admits to that, at least not in the mainstream...

in the grand scheme of things, value have little to do with it, as in the end, its just numbers.

however, the big thing is this, how large shall the total sum of these numbers be.

and that one becomes even more interesting ones one start poking at things like banks only having 10% of the money they loan out, effectively printing money whenever they loan them out...
kzt
QUOTE (Earlydawn @ Sep 17 2009, 11:33 PM) *
You've already taken a few licks for this, but just to pile it on - I disagree that the banking branches of the Triple-A megas wouldn't get along, with or without the intenvention of the corporate courts. Sure, each corp is going to have their own scrip, and possibly exchange rates, but they're still going to honor exchanges and transactions between their branches and holdings. It would be essentially impossible for them to do business if they didn't, extraterritorial sovereignty or not. That cooperation is a basic level of economic lubrication.

So therefore it's impossible for a really large trading organization or nation to not play this game? This would make it impossible for the 3rd largest economy in the world to use a currency that isn't freely convertible on the world market?

Which makes it kind of strange that the yuan actually isn't convertible and China has pretty severe restrictions on currency movement.
Chrysalis
kzt, *sigh*

Chinese banking overview, dated, 2001.
http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/publi...UNPAN002823.pdf

The US wants more currency movement from China in the hopes of maintaining a strong dollar to the Yuan, there is also hope that a weak Yuan would keep investors in dollars and not move to utilising the Yuan. In 2005 China's central bank announced that China's currency, the yuan, would be revalued by 2.1 percent against the dollar.

China's central bank also declared that the yuan would be permitted to fluctuate up or down by a maximum of 0.3 percent per day, as measured against a basket of currencies. The political leap derives from the fact that China not only revalued but also agreed to adopt a much more flexible currency regime. The small economic step comes from the fact that China initially increased the value of its currency, which most economists believe is undervalued by between 15 and 30 percent, by a relatively minuscule 2.1 percent. For all practical purposes, a change of that magnitude would have virtually no effect on the rising structural trade imbalances that afflict both China and the United States.

While the yuan is convertible on the current account, which covers trade, China still restricts most capital account deals and analysts say full convertibility could be years away. China wants a slow, methodical adjustment of its current account convertibility rules. Any change would be tailored to fit China's economic conditions, the "maturity" of its financial markets, and risk managing skills of market players.
Orcus Blackweather
QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Sep 17 2009, 08:19 PM) *
Quite the contrary!

Each of the megas prints their own paper scrip, and the value in terms of Nuyen is variable usually depending on stock price of the day, and can fluctuate wildly. That's canon all the way back, and still is.

Corp script is not Nuyen. I can print money anytime I want. The issue is who will accept it. Mitsuhama script will most likely not be accepted at the Azmart.


A later comment addressed China. China really does play the same game. They need to accept dollars or yen or whatever, or they will not be able to sell their products. They do not play nicely with the Yuan, but that is their internal script.
This equates to Wu Xing accepting Nuyen from Ares.
It then pays its employees in Wu Xing corporate script.
The employee places the corp script into the corp bank.
The next time the employee goes to Hong Kong to purchase a new Mitsuhama Comm Link, or buy food at a restaurant, he uses his comm link to make a purchase.
The Mitsuhama reseller then offers a transaction to the comm of the customer in whatever currency he is willing to accept.
The customer authenticates through the Mitsuhama dealer to the Wu Xing Bank.
The Wu Xing bank informs the Employee of the exchange rate if currencies differ, authorizes a payment either directly, or in the event that it is a large transaction, through Zurich Orbital.
The Mitsuhama bank accepts the payment and transmits a receipt of funds to the seller.
Seller and Buyer each manage to complete .3% of one blink of an eye while this process is occurring. Millions of nanoseconds pass before they realize that the transaction was successful. Both smile at one another and go on about their business.
eidolon
QUOTE (Orcus Blackweather @ Sep 18 2009, 02:38 PM) *
Corp script is not Nuyen. I can print money anytime I want. The issue is who will accept it. Mitsuhama script will most likely not be accepted at the Azmart.


Or if they do accept it, it probably won't be worth full value.

Smashing good posts, Orcus.
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