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Sybil virus: Clues and wild speculations

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« Reply #195 on: <10-03-13/0214:20> »
Right, lets take a moment to consider what we know.

Fastjack and Riser were most likely infected when they both broke into a facility owned by Neonet.  A tech deadzone - no wireless for miles.

From this, we can learn several things.  The first of which, is a commonality in time of infection, suggesting common cause - both of them have cyberware that would allow a direct interface, and most cyberware that they would have had?  This cyberware would have been installed utilizing nanotech to make the delicate neural connections, since the metahuman brain and neural system is quite complex and delicate.  All rehashes of what we already knew.

The second thing we learn from this statement, is that Neonet knew that there was a serious security problem here.  'A tech deadzone, no wireless for miles.'  This screams at me.  Neonet is known for its work with wireless and the matrix, and no wireless in the vicinity of any of their holdings tells me that they had reason.  Under normal circumstances, this would be a security measure intended to keep deckers from sitting in the wireless cafe and casually breaking in.  I however, suspect that this was a countermeasure not intended to keep people out, but rather, to keep artificial intelligences and E-ghosts in.  All pretty obvious.

Now, lets do some conjecture with that.  You want to keep an AI in,  You want to keep an E-ghost in.  There are two possible reasons for this, the first being that you wish to experiment on them, as Celedyr (if I recall correctly, the dragon has a lot to do with Neonet) was working on it.  But this leads us to the next piece of information - the databanks of this place are described as massive, which suggests a lot of storage required.

If you're working with experimental subjects... particularly those that are not only intelligent but potentially dangerous, and you have to access them regularly?  You seperate them.  You lock them down individually to minimize the threat they represent - and you do so in such a way that they have hardware walls between them, not partitions and firewalls.

I can only conclude the following:  These AI and E-ghosts had been deemed criminals, or classified as dangerous, and thus needed to be contained.  At this point, the only thing one can expect is that you would construct a wireless facility, cram them into storage, and not talk a lot about it.  They can't do damage if they can't get out, hence the wireless, and if they damage the systems they are in, they only hurt themselves.  Killing the AIs would be a waste, as they can, at this point, be extracted and used as test subjects at a later date.

Next thing we have is a clue, given to us by ol' SEARCH himself.  He is an algorithm, or started as such - designed to be adaptive, to self educate, and given his name as such.  "SELF EDUCATING AUTONOMOUS REASONING COMBAT HACKING"  Artificial intelligences aren't designed or created - they are born, spontaneously created when an agent or a program evolves.  Some are simple, even animalistic.  Others, like SEARCH, much less so, but they occur spontaneously, and their personalities may very well be dictated by their original functions.  He also further indicated his origins when he indicated that FastJack was an intruder in the matrix - as though SEARCH himself is not... as though he is a creature of the matrix, which suggests either an AI, or a technomancer... but a technomancer would have no need of Jack's body... certainly no desire for a body that lacks technomantic abilities, and especially no desire for a body that is a senior citizen.  Given that piece of information, and the intellect of the AI, why go after Jack, unless you were trapped within him (not willing to discount the possibility.)

FastJack is a very intelligent man.  I do not believe that it would be difficult to count him as a genius, in multiple areas.  He has 'superior hardware' in that skull of his.  I would hazard Riser also has above average IQ.  Although it is again conjecture, I would make a guess that with rare exception, those infected are individuals functioning at higher than average intellectual levels.

Back to my original statement about Search: Search was designed for a criminal function.  He is by his nature unstable and dangerous.  He will grow within the original parameters of his programming.

The second clue is much less obvious, but still there, if you know where to look.  Mindstorm Neurotechnologies.  It is simultaneously an attempt at misdirection, and a strike intended for the heart.  It is not unreasonable to believe that criminal AIs and E-ghosts, given time, even limited access to a body, would create a means to their end - and until stormfront, I had never heard of Mindstorm Neurotechnologies... further, large Nuyen Transfers were made to "Riser" - thus indicating that the AIs have a desire for wealth.  If that wealth was kept secret, it could be put to purpose.

This means may very well be Mindstorm.  I tend to believe that the genewipe is actually a means to assert themselves as individuals within the world - Tabula Rasa: A blank slate.  I will however concede that as conjecture, as it may very well set things up to make it easier for them.  But why the nanohive?  If this virus perpetuates itself through nanoware, that means that either a subject must continually dose themselves with nanoware, as it washes out of the body over time, or, there must be a nanohive.

This means that those infected should, in theory, become uninfected after a relatively short time.  Nanoware is likely an infection vector, but it is likely not the only means by which this problem perpetuates itself.  Even a single missed treatment would be a cure for the problem, otherwise - and I find it improbable that the infected... those who have been so infected for several years, have not missed at least one treatment in that time.

Ah, but thats the thing.  (Please forgive my meandering thought process here) half the stuff on the planet is constructed of nanotech, and nanotech has been malfunctioning lately.  But these are artificial intelligences, and if they're smart enough to hijack bodies, why would they glitch a potential means of infection vector, something so seemingly innocent as a T-shirt?

Except that they didn't glitch the T-shirts, did they?  You wear those on your body.  Direct physical contact, chance for inhalation vector infection, skin contact infection, even oral ingestion when someone absently chews on a T-shirt, or other article of clothing.  I'd even be willing to make a bet that things that are consumed or worn on the body or otherwise have close contact (like a nanofax made toothbrush, perhaps?) are the only items being reliably constructed.

I don't know about you, but I think maybe it is time for a run on Mindstorm.

Now that I think on it, if I were a mess of AIs and E-ghosts that are hijacking bodies?  I would be really quiet anywhere my infection vector (theoretically nanoware)) might be concerned... and real noisy somewhere else.  Like if I had influence over nanoware, but that wasn't my infection vector, and I wanted to trick someone like me, I would make exceptions for things that would make sense as infection vectors, such as T-shirts, and let them go off without a hitch, bit glitch everything else.  Make a big flash and noise, get everyone looking at everything that doesn't matter to me (its a lot like politics) so I can go about my business uninterrupted, unless the glitches were side effects, in which case, I'd be making efforts to leave no discernible patterns, focusing so that glitches effect my infection vectors less, but not completely removing them.  Metahuman pattern recognition can be played against metahumans, it is both a powerful tool in our arsenal, and a powerful weakness to those who know how to exploit it.

Then again, perhaps its not something the AIs and Metasapients are doing to the nanotech.  Perhaps someone actively working against them is messing with the nanotech to reduce the infection vector.  The more I look at it through a paranoid microscope, the more I begin to suspect that there are more players at the table than I thought were dealt to.  I hate a card game where you can't see the other players, gives me the feeling everyone is cheating.

Ugh, I sound like Plan9.

... only thing I know for certain, is its time for a run on Mindstorm.  The answer is in the names.

wow do you wander about!!!

But make some great points :thumbs up:

However, I think I am seeing a little more to this...  So allow me to add to what you have said please:

Those taken over seem to have a purpose. This means they have a plan... they are organized.... and they have a target.
And all this means they have an agenda. We are dealing with terrorists. The only question now is from "where" and "who".


Why did FastJack feel the need to arrange with Riser to terminate the team BEFORE they went in? What did Jack know? What was he trying to keep hidden? We know from the other JPers reaction that this is not FastJack's usual MO, so we now know he had an inkling of what was going on....

(away form my PDFs and DTF books.. so going off memory) that dead zone actually had an uplink station (Riser turned it on to get Jack access remember). So whatever (or whoever) was in those servers could have been remotely uploaded, and downloaded to a master facility... and (if I remember right) it was run by several Corporations... We know from earlier in Strom Front Celedyr has been ripping apart AI and other Techno-sapients for a while now trying to understand what makes them work... (I know I would be pissed)

Then there is the new matrix protocols and the reason given as to why they came about....... that hackers had damaged the basic foundation of the code to the point of unrepair..... and as an example of this, De la Mar points to the failure of nanotech (which apparently NEEDS a wireless connection to work.. who knew!)... Oh and that Nanotech? It has been in use in one form or another since 2060... only then it was used in bioware and cyberware implantation surgeries, and gene tweeking (that is from several books.... arsenal, Corp guide, 6th world almanac). basically, If you have augmentation, you have been exposed to nanotech. (hey augmented Adept, where's your God now? :P) and POSSIBLY the infection vector....

Or is it?

Thinking like those sick, twisted, insane writers Catalyst employs (God I love you guys! NEVER stop being sick twisted insane writers!!!), Nanotech is not the infection. It's the control rig. My guess is, Nanites are not failing, they are being rewritten and programmed Via the wireless matrix to act like combination of a persona fix cut out, and rewiring the brain to allow access to both movement and memory.. much like a rigger controls a drone. Now, some cyberware would enhance and speed up this process, like wired reflexes (Geek the Sammy First now?!?!?), skill wires, and other complex bio/cyberware (made with and by Nanites remember!?!) that interfaces with the nervous system or brain. Hence why Rizer and Plan 9 succumbed before Lanier and Fastjack.

I think in 'Jack's case we are dealing with a red herring... or a double whammy. I think Jack was already infected with nanites but they were dormant. AND he picked up a hitchhiker in that deadzone run. It was the combination of the two that did Jack in.

In most other cases, we have collectives of agents working together... We have Plan 9 and his masters (to whom he is selling out runners to), We have the marines and the marines wife. (That last message sounded like it was meant for the "Operator" of the Wife "Drone")

Most of the known cases of infection have been people that could strike out AT the a certain Mega Corp... this also tells me that the infection rate may actually be Targeted... or something else. and that "else" is: Mindstorm Neurotechnologies. I bet if we did a little digging (as I said, away from my books/pdfs ATM) we would find out that this little corp is a subsidiary of a certain Corp again :P AND, that they do genemods, Cyber ware, bio ware, research and installations..... with a heavy dose of Nanites. :P

And the Kicker of it all is:   <drum roll please>

Del la Mar and a few select other KNEW of this, and the terrorist plan to use nanites and the wireless matrix to reprogram and "rig" people... hence why she has crusaded for this upgrade for YEARS!!!! The Super strict protocols of the matrix, while not impeding AIs, would stop the sending of the rogue "transformation" protocol to be sent (and thus Rigging mass amounts of people.) This was their only real hope of combatting this threat... lock down and Grid off the Matrix. control the transmission, control the threat.... and this is because a physical strike on the terrorists is futile. They have no physical form... they are Techno sapients.. A.I's, free sprites, Techno'd critters, and the like.... Some faction of the techno community that has a royal hate-on for a certain corp..... and have decided that the best way to deal with them is in the meat, where a simple "off" command or a switch won't shut down their attacks and where actual damage can truly be done. (shred a server, they restore a back-up... Blow-up an arcology....)

However, I think the terrorists stumbled on to Del la Mar's true plan and decided they had to act... they triggered the "transformation" code before they were truly ready, thus limiting the spread to where they were active and limiting it's growth and "infection" rates.... This is why Nano devices and material made with/from nanites start falling apart, they are responding to the signal, and attempting to re-write a meta-human body... but there is no body.. so it turns to soup....

Or worse, Lanier, Jack, Rizer and Plan 9 are the transmitters themselves after infection.... and they themselves are leaving "dirty code" out there to infect others in their wake and not realize it.... which would mean, thanks to Jack, That the orbital defense platforms have been exposed.. and while the new matrix was in BETA code form!!! (Am I seeing a thor strike on a certain Corp in the near future??!?! Am I seeing the 6th edition ground works ALREADY being laid?!?!)



Whatever the Sybil Virus is, it is big. As in "Wreak your whole year" big.... whenever this gets dropped in our laps, expect a dramatic shake up.....










And until then, my awakened unaugmented brothers and sisters. Keep a large gun, spell, spirit, or melee weapon at hand for when that chummer with a little too much ware starts acting "off"...
And nuke in the back of the head the first chance you get... cause he will probably do the same to you!


Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Marzhin

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« Reply #196 on: <10-03-13/0900:40> »
For those who have picked up Splintered State (nice little adventure by the way) there are some additional clues in there (though no big reveal -- as they say, this will be for another book :p).
Apparently this all started with the Megacorps' secret research about e-ghosts (as we already knew), and from there it somehow "evolved" into a virus.
They're now officially calling it "cognitive fragmentation disorder" or "the CFD virus". It is described "a technologically propagated computer virus that can directly influence human brainwaves in a manner superficially similar to simsense, changing thoughts, overwriting memories, and altering behavior patterns" or, and I really like the metaphor, "Imagine a handful of other people’s ghosts, thrown into a blender. Put the blender on puree, and then pour the finely chopped ghost slurry directly into every nook and cranny of your brain."
All this info begins with "all you need to know for now is..." so I guess there will be some new twists along the road :)
In any case, this is definitely building up to become the first big metaplot of SR5. Ain't nothing like a good old "body snatcher" scenario :)
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Sichr

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« Reply #197 on: <10-03-13/0953:13> »
Its out already?

martinchaen

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« Reply #198 on: <10-03-13/1403:53> »
Man, this was an interesting thread to read. Now I want to run home and finish Storm Front.

Sichr; http://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=13048.msg240456#msg240456

Sichr

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« Reply #199 on: <10-03-13/1412:12> »
+1

Lysanderz

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« Reply #200 on: <10-17-13/1752:32> »
Wait wait wait, Lanier is infected with it? Damn, I was hoping to use him for a table of mine. Anybody have any places where I can read the details on that?

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« Reply #201 on: <10-17-13/1802:17> »
Wait wait wait, Lanier is infected with it? Damn, I was hoping to use him for a table of mine. Anybody have any places where I can read the details on that?

Storm Front :P


Lanier comes to Jack and lays out what he knows and that he has been probably infected for several years... but when he noticed the effects, he left the corp so as to not be able to hurt the corp, or himself in the process.... its a great read with no solution given... and sketchy details about the virus.
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Mirikon

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« Reply #202 on: <10-17-13/2103:33> »
Splintered States is the first of the adventures going into it, I believe.
Greataxe - Apply directly to source of problem, repeat as needed.

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Reaver

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« Reply #203 on: <10-17-13/2232:25> »
Splintered States is the first of the adventures going into it, I believe.

....

Great :(

an other book to buy and not have the time to read :(

<cries to himself>
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

CanRay

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« Reply #204 on: <10-18-13/0028:31> »
Great :(

an other book to buy and not have the time to read :(

<cries to himself>
Trust me, it could be far, far worse.
Si vis pacem, para bellum

#ThisTaserGoesTo11

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« Reply #205 on: <10-18-13/0119:36> »
Great :(

an other book to buy and not have the time to read :(

<cries to himself>
Trust me, it could be far, far worse.

all the time to read..

but no money to buy?
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

CanRay

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« Reply #206 on: <10-18-13/0129:02> »
Great :(

an other book to buy and not have the time to read :(

<cries to himself>
Trust me, it could be far, far worse.
all the time to read..

but no money to buy?
Worse.
Si vis pacem, para bellum

#ThisTaserGoesTo11

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« Reply #207 on: <10-18-13/0139:08> »
Great :(

an other book to buy and not have the time to read :(

<cries to himself>
Trust me, it could be far, far worse.
all the time to read..

but no money to buy?
Worse.

 :o
.
..
...
....

Oh!

All the time to read, all the money to buy,


No eyes to see!!!!
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

CanRay

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« Reply #208 on: <10-18-13/0240:08> »
Great :(

an other book to buy and not have the time to read :(

<cries to himself>
Trust me, it could be far, far worse.
all the time to read..

but no money to buy?
Worse.
:o
.
..
...
....

Oh!

All the time to read, all the money to buy,


No eyes to see!!!!
Worse still.
Si vis pacem, para bellum

#ThisTaserGoesTo11

Reaver

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« Reply #209 on: <10-18-13/0343:12> »
eaten by mutated finches?

Lost of an island with a volleyball for a friend?

get the new book, only to have industrial bleach spilled on it, turning all the pages white?

Ex-wife wants yet MORE money?

Daughter crashed her car... AGAIN??!?!?!

ALL my condos burned down... at the same time?!?

Rabid weasels in the pantry?

Be forced to write source material for annoying fans that threaten to hurt you if you don't put out a new book soon??


Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.