Every electronic device can be hacked. Hack a device by rolling 2d6 below its Security rating. Each point in the Hacking skill adds 1 to the Security rating of the device. Each degree of success nets one Duration; each degree of failure means the hack takes one turn longer. Device access is a matter of time.
The hacker needs to have some ability to transmit data to a device in order to be able to hack into it. The simplest is to plug in a cable.
Devices which use wireless communications may be hacked wirelessly so long as both devices are within range. Secure devices aren’t supposed to be wireless-enabled. In practice, they often are, whether out of negligence or convenience.
Devices which are connected to the internet may be hacked remotely. Again, the most important devices aren’t supposed to have internet connections, but they often do.
Once a device has been hacked, the hacker can then reach all devices which are directly connected to it.
Ideally, all of the useful bits of technology on a mission are kept track of as devices. Some generic, like cars and door locks, some hyper-specific, like a viral fabricator for the production of RNA strands.
If a device can perform an action (like a construction crane’s central computer being able to maneuver the crane itself), the hacker may perform that action on the turn in which they take control of the device.
Data and Encryption
A device might be holding data of use to the hacker. It is usually trivial to find and download. If it is hidden among the device’s files, they can make another Hacking roll (rolling under their skill+Intelligence) to discover it, once per turn. If the file is encrypted, it cannot be opened on the fly unless there is a major flaw in the encryption (a hacker may roll under the device’s Security to check for such flaws). If the encrypted file is copied and taken whole, it can be cracked by using a powerful computer; it takes 3d6 hours to crack.
Any device can be loaded with ice, a slang term for a countermeasure which attempts to attack the hacker or their device. Ice has a rating between 1 and 6. When a hacker enters a device with ice in it, roll 1d6. If the result is below its Rating, the ice triggers. Ice counts as hidden data. A hacker can attempt to spot ice before entering the device. Roll a secret Hacking check versus the device’s Security to spot ice and disable it. The hacker can attempt this as many times as they would like, it just costs a turn each time.
The mechanism of these countermeasures is designed by the person in charge of security– it’s not one-size-fits-all. Create new mechanisms as you go, especially for installations with strong cybersecurity. They are traps in the electric dungeon, pitfalls and poison darts.
White ice is targeted at the hacker’s device. It might disable the device for a short time, trace back to the hacker’s physical location, or give them illusory inputs.
Black ice is targeted at the hacker’s body. It might attempt to kill them (roll to-hit and for damage as if they are shot), lull them to sleep, or install a virus in their datajack.