Digital Warfare

Viruses can simply wipe out data, increase the DC of Computer Use skill checks, or cause specific things to happen normally controlled by a computer system. Writing a virus requires a Computer Use skill check and 8 hours of work. Though viruses are the specialty of a slicer, a character of any class can attempt this skill check. There’s no consequence for failure, so a hero can take 20. because viruses are difficult to test, this skill check can only be made when the virus is introducted into the system. If the hero uses a third party (example: an infected data card) to deliver the virus there is a -8 penalty to this check.

To introduce a virus into a system the hero makes a Computer Use skill check once she has access. Most secured systems can only be accessed from inside, much like R2-D2 does in A New Hope.

Removing a virus from a computer system requires a Computer Use skill check (DC 20) and at least 8 hours of work. If an acceptable backup exists, the DC is reduced to 10 and the time to 30 minutes.

Crack Virus: This type of program corrupts a computer system, giving authorized uses a penalty to Computer Use skill checks. It also gives the crack virus’s creator a bonus to Computer Use skill checks on the affected system. The result of the skill check determines the circumstance bonus and penalty provided by the virus.

Result Bonus Penalty
16-20 +0 -1
21-25 +1 -2
26-30 +1 -3
31-40 +2 -4
41+ +3 -5

Screen Virus: This type of program is commonly used to tap into or wipe out parts of a computer system’s data banks. Screen viruses can copy data into hidden files or erase it and set up shell programs that are virtually identical to the casual observer. When a shell program is accessed, the user discovers that the data is not there. The result of the skill check determines the DC to recover the deleted files or detect the virus. If a character fails a recovery attempt, only another character with more ranks in Computer Use can try again. If a backup exists, no skill check is required.

Result Recover/Detection DC
16-20 10
21-25 15
26-30 20
31-40 25
41+ 30

Redirect Virus: This type of program is used to conduct a hostile takeover of a computer system. Redirect viruses can override computer-controlled objects such as lift tubes, security cameras, and force fields. When writing a redirect virus, the hero must choose what effects the virus will cause. The base DC for this skill check is 15, modified by the table below. The more complicated the virus, the higher the DC. The result of the skill check determines whether the program is successful or not.

Task Modifier
One Activity (e.g. a lift tube) +0
Multiple Identical Activities (e.g. all lift tubes) +5
Additional Activity +5 per additional activity
Disable Activity +0
Reprogram Activity (e.g. disable force field at sunrise for 1 minute) +2 per activity
Remotely Control Activity (requires system access to control) +4
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