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Repeaters and range question

Having a repeater allows an authorized hacker connected to the repeater to make quantronic attacks as if they were in the same zone as the repeater.
Repeaters can be physical objects to be deployed in a physical location, or they can be programs deployed in a quantronic network space.
The “Tag” breach effect allows the hacker to track the tagged target and use the tagged target as a repeater.

My question is now, at what range is such a repeater - a physical or quantronic one - reachable for the hacker character?

We had some situations, where a hacker had tagged (as by the breach effect) an NPC. Some time later he wanted to use this NPC as a repeater to perform hacking attacks in the local zone where the NPC currently was. But this NPC was at that time far away in the same solar system, but nowhere near the current location of the hacker - and the quantronic network connection to this place would be unreliable or even non-existent for lengthy bits of time.

Should a hacker be able to use a repeater - especially one by a Tag breech effect - at any range, planetary, interplanetary, or even intersystem range?

I am a bit confused how to decide such an attempt of using a repeater that is far, far away - physically and quantronically - by a hacker character. I’m incined not to allow any access beyond extreme range in quantronic zones, as - so my reasoning - the hacker wouldn’t even be aware of the repeater anymore, if it left this range (of more than 3 zones from the hacker).

What do you think? How would you handle such an attempt to access a repeater that is astronomical distances away?

Technically it is possible to use a previous target as a repeater, and there is actual rules regarding hacking and range. Basically the distance increase the number of quantronic zone a hacker as to travel in order to get to his objective. As a rule of thumb the closer the better, same building is good, same city is ok, same planet is hard, same system but other planet is very hard, inter system is only possible for panO and yujing military officially and require special access. Aleph faction probably has the same capability but not in an official manner.
I think that in order to use a target as a repeater over long distance, i would add several complication. First : time. The longer time past, the higher the chance for the intrusion to be detected, patches etc. Second : the type of quantronic zone the hacker wish to access relative to the NPC and the infected gear. I would not be very keen to allow the repeater to be used to hack thing in it’s own vicinity, only quantronic zone the npc has actual user access(or higher access).

I would also use the actual infowar rules, not the simple hacking one.

A thing to keep in mind is, if you have access to a Repeater that generally is the point that you start counting range from, no matter how far off the repeater itself is. Generally the idea is that reaching that repeater is a no-brainer for your average Hacker, the difficulty comes in getting a repeater in place in the first instance.

In regards to the use of an “old” repeater a good rule of thumb is to remember that a Breach can be restored after a little bit of downtime, say after a scene is over. Even bad guys have this option, though in some cases it pays to consider how and why a Harm was applied and if a person would notice they needed to purge the effect.

Imagine a Trooper Guard whose system has been Tagged, they might not notice this for some time. But eventually they shut down their commlog for maintenance or a system firmware update and at that point consider that the Breach is gone.

Other things to keep in mind is that the net in the Human Sphere is nearly free of light-lag for communications, even intra-system comms are very quick, the aleph book talks a bit about this (as well as providing some examples of data-networks) and that physical location is different from quantronic distances and again a repeater (even one from a breach) is generally considered more or less equivalent to an access point and thus again is easy access.

Finally, if a player is considering tagging people to use at future dates, its often better to instruct them to use a Breach/Tag to then hack a system and install a backdoor with full authentication levels which should decay much slower than a Tag access would.

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In case of a long distance hacking I would say that your hack doesn’t start at your repeater, since you have no direct access to it. I would follow the rules about hacking distance and impose 3 zone to cross before accessing the repeater in case of intra system hack.

Hacks start at an Access Point, a repeater under your control can function as an access point. You then move through a data network in the same way that you normally do for zones with the usual implications for range modifiers.

If you talking about factoring in range, then generally that happens prior to the Hack itself when you are trying to locate an Access Point that you otherwise don’t have authentication for in which case a GM picks an arbitrary number between 3 and 8 based on how hard they want locating the access point to be, then the range modifier is added as per the Remote Access Point table (Corebook p.116).

Base + Remote Modifier becomes the momentum value needing to be conquered by a Analysis or Hack check. This sets the Difficulty of the very first Hack to get into a system in a quick and dirty way of doing so without a GM needing to prepare a full network diagram going from you to your target.

You can apply that method to remotely accessing a long distance repeater or tagged Commlog assuming the target of the tag hasn’t made an Absterge.

After that check is made your “Avatar” for lack of a better term is located at the access point and moves on from there as if they where in that location, becoming the new 0 point from measuring range for launching Infowar attacks/actions.

@Raith That is probably the solution I will apply. - I expect the distance from hacker to repeater having an influence, even if the quantronic network density is very high. It should matter if the repeater is on board of a spaceship far out of orbit compared to a repeater simply in another big city on the same planet.

So making finding/accessing the repeater a separate action, necessary to succeed to start the actual hacking attempt, sounds very plausible to me.