Mechanic Remote Hack limitations


Rules Questions


The ruling for the Remote Hack ability states: "You can use your custom rig to attempt Computers and Engineering skill checks at a range of 20 feet."

However, would limitations come into effect?

1) Does this ability rely on the target device having an interface system that enables a remote. Example, there is a computer device that's not connected to a network/info sphere and can only be interfaced with a wired console - would that be a valid target for the Remote Hack ability?

2) What about walls or radiation: such as steel, concrete or Adamantine. The rules talk about how their hit points and hardness. But nothing on how they limited remote or communication signals. Would a mechanic be able to remote hack a computer on the other side of the wall?

The Exchange

1. The Remote Hack is specifically meant to work against computers without using a normal access path. Think of it like an advanced TEMPEST attack. Sending and receiving data via the unintentional leakage of EM signals.

2. I would probably use the same guidelines as blocking Sense Through (p264-265) So 10 feet of wood or plastic, 5 feet of stone, 1 foot of common metal, 6 inched of lead or starmetal), or any force field would prevent a remote hack. For other materials, use the closest similar listed material. And of course you (as the GM) could just decide that a particularly critical system has been shielded with a thin layer of anti-hacking shielding (RF blocker).


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Belafon wrote:

1. The Remote Hack is specifically meant to work against computers without using a normal access path. Think of it like an advanced TEMPEST attack. Sending and receiving data via the unintentional leakage of EM signals.

2. I would probably use the same guidelines as blocking Sense Through (p264-265) So 10 feet of wood or plastic, 5 feet of stone, 1 foot of common metal, 6 inched of lead or starmetal), or any force field would prevent a remote hack. For other materials, use the closest similar listed material. And of course you (as the GM) could just decide that a particularly critical system has been shielded with a thin layer of anti-hacking shielding (RF blocker).

I agree:

Remote hack isn't special if it only allows you to connect to devices that you could already connect to (as pretty much everything is going to be wireless).

You're also right about shielding. Sensitive systems could easily add protections to protect against this (as some systems do today).

Characters at my table where talking about building a Faraday cage just the other day ...

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