The pages that follow are the compilation of a number of ideas I've had for using computers and hacking. Personally, I do not like the idea that netrunning or hacking should be a sort of tron-esq dungeon bash. I am not a hacker nor a computer genius so if you're looking for hacking tips - I suggest you try a search engine :-)
Most hacking can be done by captialising on human nature and exploiting basic weaknesses in comptuer software. Supervisor users do not change their password every month and countless people use their spouse's/kid's/pet's/parent's name as their access code <sigh>.
Lazy coding and sloppy security are a hacker's best friend. We all know how iffy the security is for one of the most popular desktop operating systems, yet we use it on a daily basis and rely on it at work to keep prying eyes away from our data. Which big Utah-based networking vendor allowed it's passwords to be broadcast as clear text over the network during the 80s? Sure, they fixed it but then a backup software house repeated the same mistake in 1998.
The key aim of these rules is to provide some semblance of modern computers, but adding in the fancy sci-fi gadgets that populate cyberpunk literature. For RPG purposes hacking a computer system should require an expert not just a collection of the right programs. Sure, you can get various scripts off the web, but you really need to have some level of technical ability to do anything worthwhile with them.
This brings me back to my earlier point about network dungeon bashes, breaking into a computer system is not like that. With a bit of knowledge about the target system and one or two handy programs (like a telnet app and a packet sniffer) a good hacker will be in to many basic systems. Sure, lay lots of superlatives and funky settings on your deckers, but don't get too bogged down decker-land.
And yes, the title is from a Jesus Jones' song. :-)
Steve Taylor (constructive
critism & ideas).
Rob Hotchkiss (ides and witty comments)
....and suggested reading.
Snowcrash by Neil Stephenson (it's a must!)
The Star Fraction by Ken McLoed (a very good read if you're planning
any net-based game).
One of Us by Michael Marshall Smith (sharp, witty and a little bit
Jack Chalker's Wonderland Gambit trilogy.
[Seen The Matrix? Play spot the difference! :-) Note that Chalker's book came out a lot earlier and you could really bend your player's minds with this! In all honesty, I'm surprised he didn't sue.... <g>]
The Cyberpunk Handbook (aka The Real Cyberpunk Fakebook) [How
tongue in cheek is this book?]
GURPS Cyberpunk & Cyberworld.
SR Virtual Realities 2.
Guide to the Net (Cyberpunk 2020).