Hacking allows characters to disable or gain control over hackable devices and to stop other hackers from affecting their own devices. All devices with Firewall are considered hackable. Other devices, especially electronic and digital devices, might be hackable if determined so by the GM.
In all Hacking actions the character attempting the action is called the hacker and the device targeted by the action is called the target. To perform a Hacking action the hacker needs to be using a computer or rig and its target needs to be in hacking range. A device is in hacking range if at least one of the following conditions are met:
- It is physically connected to the rig or computer.
- It is being directly manipulated by the hacker.
- It is connected to the same network as the hacker.
- It is in LinkWave range from the hacker’s rig or computer.
Denial of Service (DoS)
A successful DoS action deactivates its target until the end of the turn and forces it to fail the action it was performing. A critical success allows the hacker to control the device until the next maintenance phase.
A successful Sniffing action will allow the hacker to read all the data stored on his target, be it code, video, audio, or any other type of information, including passwords and access codes. Sniffing can also be used to extract information from networks as a powerful form of online research. A critical success in the action will mean the hacker leaves no traces after accessing the information.
The attack is very fast and accurate thanks to partial-AI search engines and the information can be accessed in one turn. However, reading and understanding it will take longer. The amount of information a hacker finds will greatly depend on the target he chooses to access. In FAITH, information travels between star systems in huge server ships. Therefore, available information depends greatly on location, and information takes time to spread throughout the galaxies. It is very important that the GM considers what is best for the story when deciding how much information to give.
The networks of mining planets are usually set up for the purpose of allowing workers to communicate with each other; there is very little information available to them. However, the networks of large cities or business districts contain a lot of information about the companies that operate there, amongst many other interesting things.
Some networks contain all kinds of information: text, pictures, videos, sensor feeds, software, etc. These networks usually have millions of sources such as online papers, websites, social networks, commercials, blogs, archives, online services, forums, chat rooms, internet caches, and more.
(From Rulebook v1.0, may be deprecated.)
A successful Systems Corruption action causes its target as much ACS damage as specified by the rig used in the action. A decisive success causes one additional point of ACS damage and a critical success causes double the base damage.
(From Core Book 2.0.)
A successful Infest action will cause you opponent's action to fail. Additionally, it will apply one of the following effects to the hacked device:
The Firewall of this device plays one less card agains you from now one. A Purging Systems action does not remove a Backdoor.
(From Core Book 2.0.)
(From Rulebook v1.0.)
Formatting a device gets rid of the effects of a hacking attack upon it. Additionally, all the information stored in it is lost. A Formatting action can be confronted by a hacker that has taken control over the device if it remains within his hacking range.
A device with LinkWave increases the hacking range of its user. The hacking range around a device with LinkWave is a sphere with a radius equal to its LinkWave value, in metres.
Additionally, a device with LinkWave functions as a radar within its hacking range. It detects all devices within that range, but does not identify them. They are automatically identified when targeted by a Hacking action.
Confronting Hacking Actions
You can only detect and confront hacking actions that originate from within your hacking range (ie. only characters using a rig will be aware of Hacking actions taking place around them). Hacking actions can be confronted with any action that would be able to stop the hacking attack, such as hacking the target back, or parting his head from his body.
Most hackable devices are protected by some form of software, a type of NPC that only confronts Hacking actions.
The Firewall (FW) of a device confronts any Hacking action against it, with an action value equal to its FW value plus the value of cards played. A Firewall plays as many cards as indicated on the device, on the FW icon, or as many as the GM determines otherwise.
The Firewall of a device that belongs to a character plays cards from the top of its owner’s deck.
Whenever a Firewall wins a confrontation, the rig of the attacking hacker suffers one point of ACS damage per card played by the Firewall. If the Firewall achieves a decisive success, it will cause one more point of ACS damage, and if it achieves a critical success it will cause double the base damage.
Using Hacking as a Counteraction
Hacking actions can only be used as counteraction when the action targeting you requires energy to operate (eg. plasma weapons, rigs, robots, etc...), or specifically says it can be hacked as a counteraction (eg. Ravager creatures). Hacking other gear carried by that character cannot be used as a counteraction (ie. hacking the opponent's suit).
Note: Gear that has powered characteristics, but which does not require energy to perform its action (eg. Vibroblade) cannot be hacked as a counteraction, as the action can still be successful without the powered characteristics.