An infomorph is an ego run on a mind-emulation software platform—essentially a cyberbrain without the hardwiring. That software is either run on a device or via distributed processing on multiple devices. For rules purposes, the term “infomorph” refers to all active software mind emulations, including digitized/disembodied egos, forks, and AGIs. It also includes limited AIs, with certain caveats. It does not include inactive stored egos, cyberbrain-embodied egos, or simulmorphs.

Infomorph Software

Infomorphs lack bodies and so obviously cannot benefit from any augmentations designed for physical morphs. Many augmentations, however, are at least as valuable to an infomorph as they are to individuals sleeved in physical morphs. Also, there are a number of specialized software routines that are only or primarily useful to infomorphs, such as one that helps the infomorph make better use of the sensors and robots that are accessible from their server.
There are three types of software useful to infomorphs: Software plug-ins, upgrades, and eidolons. Software plug-ins are programs that anyone can use, they are simply “plugged in” to the infomorph so that the infomorph “carries” them along if they move. Upgrades are embedded routines that must be optimized and formatted for the infomorph’s particular mind-state in order to function; they are the equivalent of augmentations for infomorphs. Eidolons are shell programs that the ego runs in and which function as virtual morphs (essentially variant infomorphs).
Especially crowded, cheap, or poorly maintained devices may not be able to run some of the more expensive plug-ins, upgrades, or eidolons.

Acquiring Software

Infomorph software may be purchased and downloaded just like other pieces of software, or acquired via rep and favors.
Most commercially produced software comes loaded with digital protection schemes that prevents it from being fileshared with others. These digital locks might included a limited number of installations, anti-copying measures, or persistent online authentication. These digital restrictions may be defeated with a Programming Task Action with a timeframe of 60 days. In some areas, monitoring AIs will scan for software that show signs of piracy or tampering to enforce copyright legalities. Hacked software is also sometimes remotely deleted or disabled by its copyright owners.
At the gamemaster’s discretion, open source or pirated versions of this software may be available online, if one knows where to look (requiring a Research or Networking Test). Characters must be cautious with free versions, however, as they may be glitchy or loaded with malware.

Restricted Software

Certain controlled jurisdictions, like the Planetary Consortium or many hypercorps, outlaw particular software without special authorization. In these areas, it is not uncommon for monitoring AIs on public and private servers to periodically scan any active infomorphs for this software. In other areas, only AGIs and/or forks are restricted from this software; human-ego infomorphs may use them freely.
No security is ever perfect, however. Characters can use a digital veil (below) to evade these filters.

Programming Software

Skilled programmers can write their own software. The character must succeed in a Programming Test with a base timeframe of one week for plug-ins, one month for upgrades, and 6 months for eidolons, per cost level of the software. A Trivial plug-in has a timeframe of 1 week, for example, a Low upgrade takes 2 months, and a Moderate eidolon requires 18 months.

Detecting, Hiding, and Removing Plug-Ins and Upgrades

Anyone with security or admin access to the device on which an infomorph is running may attempt to scan the infomorph’s shell for plug-ins and upgrades. The digital veil (below) conceals plug-ins and upgrades so that they will not show on standard scans.
Detected plug-ins and upgrades may be forcibly removed from an infomorph by someone who has completed a successful cyberbrain hack on the target with a Complex Action. Infomorphs may of course remove plug-ins and upgrades from their code, unless they are trapped within a lockbox or similar server; follow the same rules for installation to remove.

Sidebar: Cyberbrains and Infomorph Software

Many of the plug-ins and upgrades available to infomorphs can also be integrated into the cyberbrains found in pod morphs and synthmorphs (though some are really only useful to digital beings). The same rules for acquisition and installation apply. Certain software may note special rules when used with cyberbrains. Eidolons may not be run on cyberbrains.
No infomorph software can run on the biological brain of a biomorph. The cognitive architecture of a biological brain is simply not set up to run programs.

Software Plug-Ins and Upgrades

Information about software plugins and Upgrades may be found in Software.

Eidolons

Information about Eidolons may be found in the Infomorphs section of the Morphs page.

Running on Devices

As noted in the core book, computerized devices are classified into three types: peripherals, personal computers, and servers. Together, these are all called devices. Devices are almost always mesh networked with the dozens if not hundreds of other devices around them.

Home Device

Infomorphs are usually run on one specific device at a time; this is referred to as their home device. This means that the home device stores the infomorph’s mind-state files in its active and storage memory and handles the processing needs of the infomorph’s mind emulation suite. The infomorph may of course access other devices through the mesh, but it resides on its home device.
Peripherals do not possess the memory and processing capability to run infomorphs. Personal computers can run one infomorph at a time. If the gamemaster allows it, two infomorphs may attempt to run on the same personal computer at the same time, making the device overloaded (next page). Servers can run dozens if not hundreds of infomorphs, depending on their capabilities.
Aptitude Maximums: The processing power of a home device can limit an infomorph’s capabilities. Personal computers are considered to have an aptitude maximum of 20; most servers have an aptitude maximum of 30, or 35 for higher-end servers.

Distributed Infomorphs

Rather than residing on a single home device, an infomorph can run itself as a distributed neural net using multiple devices at once. The setup of mesh networks makes this easy, as most devices have a portion of their capabilities set aside for public access and meshed devices typically share processing loads with each other.
An infomorph could even run itself as a distributed process using only a number of peripherals; meshed together, enough peripherals could handle the mind-state’s storage and processing requirements. The gamemaster decides how many peripherals are needed in this case; if not enough are available, the minimal processing rules may apply (next page). Running as a distributed infomorph has its advantages. Attempts to track the infomorph via its mesh ID suffer a –10 modifier. An infomorph can increase this modifier to –20 by distributing its mind-state even further, however this incurs a –10 modifier to all actions as the infomorph begins to suffer from lag as the distributed elements of its mind must cross further distances to communicate with each other. Distributed infomorphs are also more vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks and brainhacking. Distributed infomorphs have an aptitude maximum of 40.

Minimal Processing Environments

Some devices simply lack the full processing capability required by infomorphs. This includes outdated systems, devices that have suffered extensive damage, partially functioning servers running in long-abandoned outposts, and ad-hoc systems where someone attempts to create a functional server by cobbling together a half-dozen pieces of salvaged electronics. Infomorphs may still run on them, but suffer from reduced capabilities. On a minimal device, infomorphs operate with a Speed of 1 (no matter their Speed bonuses), an aptitude maximum of 15, and suffer a –10 modifier to all actions. They also cannot use eidolons or any upgrades with a cost higher than Moderate, because the device is not powerful enough to run these upgrades. Infomorphs universally find running on minimal devices to be a deeply unpleasant and frustrating experience.
Minimal devices are also prone to lags, errors, and other glitches. If the gamemaster chooses to highlight this, there is a 20% chance each turn that any user running or accessing that device will suffer from a glitch. Roll 1d10 and check the Device Glitches table. Simulspaces created on minimal servers are obviously artificial and have a somewhat cartoon-like appearance. The environment frequently slows to a crawl or pixilates.
Note that in the presence of a healthy mesh network, a minimal device can rely on the mesh to share the processing load. These minimal device rules typically apply to isolated systems or to devices that are particularly old, damaged, or jury-rigged enough that the mesh does not help.
Devices Glitches
d10 Roll
Result
1
Lag: -1 Initiative. This is a cumulative effect.
2-3
Operational Error: -10 to next mesh action.
4
Serious Error: -20 to next mesh action.
5
Hung App: The next software or plug-in item deployed by the user crashes and cannot be used for 1 Action Turn.
6
Dropped Signal: The user's mesh-based communications are inoperable for 1 Action Turn.
7
Encoding Error: If the user is anonymizing their mesh ID or routing through an anonymous account, their actual mesh ID is revealed. For non-anonymizing users, treat as a roll of 2.
8
Security Flag: An intruding character automatically receives Spotted status. For non-intruders, treat as a roll of 4.
9
Choked: The device freezes up; the user loses their next Action Turn if they are running on the device, their next mesh action if they are simply accessing the device.
0
Crash: The device encounters a serious error and initiates a reboot.

Overloaded Devices

Sometimes fully functional devices come under a processing load that hampers their capabilities. In areas with decent mesh networks this is rarely an issue, as the device can share the load with other linked devices around it. In isolated areas or closed systems, however, a sudden uptick of infomorphs or computationally-intensive activity (particularly psychosurgery, XP feeds, or simulspace activities) can lead to device overload. Even mesh networks may come under a heavy burden during a massive network attack, distributed denial of service attack, serious habitat crisis, solar flares, or the sudden loss of a significant portion of the network (ship or hab damage).
Infomorphs running on overloaded devices reduce their Speed by 1 and the aptitude maximum of the device by 5. Additionally, they lose the effects of any upgrades that increase their Speed or provide them with additional actions (such as mind speed), since these upgrades all require processing power that must be devoted to other users and system resources. Infomorphs can try to hack the device to prioritize their resource use and pull more processing cycles their way. This requires an Infosec Test at –30; if successful, they can eliminate the Speed modifier or enable one of their disabled upgrades.
Overloaded devices are prone to glitches, much like minimal devices. If the gamemaster chooses to highlight this, there is a 10% chance each turn that any user running or accessing that device will suffer from a glitch. Roll 1d10 and check the Device Glitches table (above).

Enhanced Servers

Enhanced servers are servers that are considerably faster and more secure than normal. Any infomorph running on an enhanced server gains an automatic +1 to Initiative Tests. Enhanced servers are most common in wealthy infomorph-only habitats and on the private servers of wealthy and powerful hypercorps. They are exceedingly expensive, cannot be implanted in a standard morph, and require intensive resources to operate, so they are generally out of the reach of most characters, though account space may be rented. Enhanced servers all come with improved firewalls and monitoring software that increases the difficulty of hacking attempts: apply a –10 modifier to Infosec Tests; this modifier is cumulative with the Passive Alert modifier. Some high-security servers are always on Passive Alert status. Enhanced servers have an aptitude maximum of 40.

Specialized Servers

Specialized servers are optimized for specific functions. They provide anyone accessing the server with a bonus to certain skill tests related to the server’s purpose, similar to a bonus from quality gear. Specialized servers are expensive and require a complex customized operating system. As a result, they are only used by individuals, groups, or collectives who are quite well off or for vitally important servers such as those used in infomorph-piloted military vessels. Like enhanced servers, they are not available to most characters, though accounts may be rented.
The most expensive and exceptional servers can be both Specialized and Enhanced, providing the benefits of both. These enhanced specialized servers are only found in cutting-edge equipment used for essential purposes, such as the fire-control servers for military installations or the servers used in the finest research institutions in the solar system.
At the gamemaster’s discretion, some specialized servers may provide even stronger bonuses to infomorphs that run on that system. These enhancements could include aptitude modifiers (such as +5 COG) or the effects of plug-ins or upgrades. It is strongly recommended that no server can provide more than a single +5 aptitude bonus or a single plug-in or upgrade effect. These aptitude modifiers are cumulative with modifiers from eidolons, but even the best specialized server cannot increase an aptitude over 40. Specialized servers have an aptitude maximum of 40.
Server Costs
Server
Cost (In Credits)
Rental Cost (Per Account Per Month)
Rental Cost (Whole Server Per Month)
Private Server (Self-Administrated)
Infomorph Capacity x 250
Low
Infomorph Capacity x 50
Private Server (Managed by Others)

Moderate
Infomorph Capacity x 250
Enhanced Server (Managed by Others)

High

Specialized Server (Managed by Others)

High to Expensive

Lockbox
Infomorph Capacity x 500
Moderate
Infomorph Capacity x 250

Sidebar: Sample Specialized Servers

These are examples of some of the more common specialized servers in use in the solar system.
Byzantium: A server designed by programmers, for programmers. Advantages: +10 Programming
Elite Military Vehicle: The finest cutting-edge military fighter spacecraft and other small high-speed military vehicles that are piloted by infomorphs frequently have these upgrades. The absolute best of these vehicles use enhanced specialized servers. Advantages: +10 Pilot: [Vehicle Type], +10 Gunnery, Enhanced Server
Glitch: The exotic environment of the infomorph habitat Glitch is specifically designed to enhance the minds of its inhabitants. Similar specialized servers are used by various other groups of wealthy infomorphs interested in intelligence enhancement. Advantages: +5 COG, +5 INT, Math Boost
High-End Vehicle: This server is very common in infomorph-piloted rescue and emergency-services vehicles, lawenforcement vehicles, and military vehicles. Advantages: +10 Pilot: [Vehicle Type]
Hypercorp Research Server: Some hypercorps employ infomorph researchers, and some scientists and engineers find it easier to work as an infomorph. The best hypercorps maintain enhanced specialized servers that significantly improve the capabilities of the infomorphs running on them. These severs are always actively monitored and security personnel vigorously respond to all potential threats. Advantages: +10 Academics: (Choose One), +10 Research, Math Boost
Kali Server: This server, maintained by the ID Crew, runs an OS optimized for security and penetration testing. Advantages: +10 Infosec, Enhanced Server
Lockbox: These servers makes certain that captive infomorphs running on them are obedient, weak willed, and easily intimidated. Disadvantages (Captive Users Only): Aptitude Maximum 20, Speed Maximum 1 Advantages (Admin Users Only): +10 Psychosurgery

Lockboxes

Lockboxes are servers specifically designed to imprison, interrogate, or manipulate captive egos. In most cases, an involuntary subject is loaded onto the server and run in a slave eidolon shell (p. 142). Captive infomorphs are given almost no user privileges on the system, are prevented from running any nonsanctioned software including plug-ins or upgrades, cannot self-delete or self-modify, can only operate at a Speed of 1, and often suffer other restrictions.

Portable Server

Created specifically for gatecrashing and other types of remote operation, this device is essentially a mobile server. The server itself is a squat cylinder, roughly the size of a modern piece of carry-on luggage, carried within a protective frame. It may be raised out of the frame for direct access. It features a wheeled mobility system capable of handling stairs and minor obstacles, a radio booster for communications range, and a pair of hidden compartments that are each capable of housing one small robot. It also possesses simple visual and auditory sensors and a small speaker, and a pair of thin retractable limbs for handling objects when remote controlled. It follows the normal rules for bots and vehicles. The server has the capacity for 10 infomorphs. [High]
Portable Server
Robot
Movement Rate
Max Velocity
Armor
Durability
Wound Threshold
Mobility System
Portable Server
4/16
16
6/6
40
8
Wheeled
Enhancements: Access Jacks, Hidden Compartment x2, Puppet Sock, Radio Booster, Retracting Limbs (2), Server (Capacity: 10)
Note: Small Size trait.

Hardware Damage

Hardware ranges from small, cheap, and vulnerable spimes and peripherals to moderately tough personal computers to extremely durable, self-repairing servers. For combat purposes, they are treated as other objects; sample ratings are given on the Devices in Combat table (below). When a device is damaged, the infomorphs and other users running on it or accessing it may be affected. Any time a device is damaged, there is a 10% chance of a glitch; Roll 1d10 and check the Device Glitches table (above). If the device suffers a wound, it automatically glitches. With the exception of servers, when a device takes damage that exceeds its Durability, it ceases to function immediately. Anyone accessing the system loses the connection, and any infomorphs running on the device immediately shut down. Sudden shutdowns of this sort are extremely jarring to running infomorphs; they suffer 1d10 SV from the shock.
Servers are designed with hardened casings and extensive redundancy and powerful error correction algorithms. As a result, even when damaged, servers can often continue to run as long as they have power, though with degraded performance. When a server takes more damage than its Durability, it immediately glitches (roll 1d10 and check the Device Glitches table) but then continues to operate as a minimal device. Bonuses from enhanced or specialized servers are also lost. Servers cease running when their Death Rating is reached.
It is sometimes possible to retrieve dormant infomorphs from disabled devices. If the device damage did not exceed its Death Rating, this requires successful Hardware: Electronics and Interfacing Tests; the gamemaster can apply modifiers for extensive damage. If the device was destroyed (damage exceeded Death Rating), the same tests apply, with a –30 modifier for devices other than servers, and also make a Moxie x 5 Test for the infomorph. Failure of any test means that only a gamma-level vapor of the infomorph can be recovered. A Severe Failure means the infomorph is hopelessly lost.
An infomorph that is running as a distributed process on distributed infomorphs is not affected when devices are wounded, but does suffer a glitch (roll 1d10 on the Device Glitches table) whenever a device is destroyed. At the gamemaster’s discretion, the destruction of peripheral devices may also be ignored. If 50% or more of the devices the infomorph is distributed on are destroyed at once, the infomorph suffers 1d10 SV and must operate as if on a minimal processing environment until they redistribute among other devices. If 75% or more devices are destroyed at once, the infomorph must also make a MOX x 10 Test or immediately shut down.
Devices in Combat
Device
Armor
Durability
Wound Threshold
Death Rating**
Peripheral
0
2
1
4
Cheap Personal Computer
0
5
1
10
Durable Personal Computer
2
20
4
40
Server
5
30
6
60
Hardened Server
20
50
15
100

DoS Attacks

One of the oldest and simplest techniques for targeting devices and infomorphs is the denial-ofservice (DoS) attack. There are many methods of DoSing a target device, but the most common is to send millions of messages and information requests to the target machine, overwhelming its capabilities and causing it to slow or crash. A single hacker using DoS software can amplify their attack by forging mesh IDs and bouncing messages off of other devices, flooding the target with requests and replies and drowning out legitimate traffic. More effective attacks employ hacked devices to saturate the target with packets. Performing a denial of service attack on a target device requires knowledge of the device’s mesh ID, a Complex Action, and an Infosec Test. If the target device is actively monitored, this is an Opposed Test between attacker and defender. Attackers receive a +10 bonus against peripheral devices and a –30 modifier against servers. If the attack succeeds, massive traffic overwhelms the target device and it immediately becomes overloaded. Infomorphs running on that system will suffer a Speed reduction and all users may experience glitches. If the attack succeeds with an Excellent Success (MoS 30+), the targeted system operates as a minimal device. On an MoS of 60+, the device crashes, all users are dropped, and infomorphs running on the system immediately shut down. Crashed devices will reboot, taking anywhere from 1 Action Turn to 1 minute (gamemaster’s call), but if the DoS continues the attacker and defender (if applicable) immediately roll again when the system is back online.
Once started, a denial of service attack continues without the attacker needed to pay attention to it. However, if the attacker does not continue monitoring and reinforcing the attack, then the defender merely needs to make a successful Infosec Test with a MoS greater than that scored by the attacker. If the attacker does monitor and fine-tune the attack (requiring a Complex Action each of their Action Phases), they may immediately force the defender into a new Opposed Test to continue the DoS. Otherwise the DoS is defeated, though it may be restarted. Attackers may also attempt to upgrade the effect of their DoS attack on their actions; if they win another round of Opposed Tests with an MoS of 30+, an overloaded device is treated as minimal or an already minimal device is crashed.
DoS attacks are particularly effective against isolated systems. Meshed devices that are targeted will call on the network around them to support the traffic load. For personal computers and servers, this means that every Action Turn the DoS continues, they receive a cumulative +10 modifier to counter its effects. This cumulative modifier continues even if the device must reboot. If the DoS attack lets up, the modifier is reduced by 10 per Action Turn.

Infomorph Actions

The following rules apply to certain specific actions and scenarios.

Moving Between Devices

An infomorph residing on a home device may move itself to another home device capable of running it. Once moved to the new device, no copy of the infomorph remains on the old device. This process takes 1 full Action Turn. The infomorph is not capable of any other actions (including Quick Actions) while this movement occurs, even if they possess upgrades that provide a boost to Speed or extra mental actions. All ongoing actions are suspended for the duration of the move (and at the gamemaster’s discretion may be disrupted). The ego does not lose continuity during the moving process, this is not considered a resleeving. Software plug-ins, upgrades, and eidolon shells move with the infomorph. Egocasting is also considered moving between devices, just over a longer distance and with a much longer timeframe.
Moving between devices is not to be confused with accessing devices. Infomorphs may access multiple devices at a time, just like any other user, but they are only running on one home device at a time (unless they are running as a distributed process).

Copying An Infomorph

Infomorphs may also be copied, which creates an alpha fork (see Forking and Merging). This process takes a full Action Turn, just like moving. Copied infomorphs do not lose continuity. If an infomorph copies to a different eidolon shell, they must make an Alienation Test. The infomorph’s upgrades are copied as well, but plug-ins are optional. Alpha fork copies also contain the infomorph’s digital code, along with an incremental number indicating which copy it is. Copying the files of an inactive infomorph (one not actively running) is a simpler matter and takes only a Complex Action.

Deletion

Infomorphs may delete themselves, if they so choose (unless they lack the privileges or are on a lockbox). This virtual form of suicide takes only 1 full Action Turn.

Scanning Infomorphs

Because they are essentially software, much info can be gleaned about an infomorph by analyzing it online. To scan an infomorph, you must have access to the infomorph’s home device (or any device it is running on if distributed), must know their mesh ID, and must succeed in an Interfacing Test. Apply a –30 modifier to scan an infomorph operating in privacy mode. Success reveals one piece of information, plus one per 10 points of MoS.
The following information is available to anyone with a user account or better on that device:
  • Public social profile
  • Type of eidolon shell
  • Software the infomorph is using
The following information is only available to users with security or admin accounts or who hack the device (requiring a separate Infosec Test):
  • Current activity (overview only)
  • Whether or not the infomorph is distributed
  • Mesh IDs of other devices the infomorph is accessing
  • Digital code ID
  • Plug-ins and upgrades (1 per 10 MoS)
The digital veil conceals plug-ins and upgrades so that they will not show on standard scans (though at the gamemaster’s discretion, a scan with an MoS of 30+ may detect anomalies that suggest further examination). An attempt can be made to scan an infomorph for hidden software. This requires an Infosec or Programming Task Action with a –30 modifier and a base time of 1 hour. If successful, this reveals the presence of 1 plug-in or upgrade, plus 1 per 10 points of MoS.

Scanning Awareness

Scanning is non-invasive; infomorphs are not aware they are being scanned unless they are also monitoring the user investigating them. Note that an infomorph with security/admin status or who hacks a device can run a search string to monitor the processes on a device to see if anyone is actively scanning them. This requires a Complex Action to initiate and a successful Interfacing Test to detect a scanning attempt.

Psych Scans

Timeframe: 1 day
PM: +10
SV: 1
Characters who wish to learn more about an infomorph can make a more detailed and intensive scan known as a psych scan. Psych scans are a form of psychosurgery that requires either the user’s permission or a successful brainhacking. Psych scans can never be performed without the target’s knowledge. They can, however, be combined with memory erasure to insure that the target does not remember the procedure.
Psych scans reveal the character’s rough characteristics (aptitudes), ego traits, and the presence and nature of any derangements or disorders. A psych scan also provides the user with a brainprint and an upgrade scan of the target. If the person being scanned is an async and the person performing the scan has knowledge of the Watts-MacLeod strain and achieves an Excellent Success (MoS 30+), the scan may reveal some mental abnormalities that could be indicative of async abilities, though this would not be verifiable with any degree of certainty. Psych scans against infomorphs with the digital veil plug-in suffer a –20 modifier.

Time, Distance, and Lag

Electronic communication travels at the speed of light, and thus infomorphs suffer challenges when accessing devices or conducting mesh operations at extreme distances. As long as the infomorph is interacting with others within 50,000 kilometers, there is no perceptible lag and no penalties. Further out, however, communications will lag and attempts to research information online will take extra time.
If an infomorph attempts to operate at a distance between 50,000 and 150,000 kilometers, they suffer a –1 Initiative and –1 Speed penalty due to time lag. Between 150,000 and 500,000 kilometers, they suffer a –3 Initiative and have a Speed of 1, no matter what upgrades they possess. At distances more than 500,000 kilometers away, the infomorph is too far to do more than the occasional mesh action, and is is unable to cope with any sort of opposition. Even relatively simple security software can easily defeat an infomorph hacker at such distances because the infomorph doesn’t become aware of any countermeasures taken by their opposition until one full Action Turn after these measures are implemented. In this case, the infomorph automatically loses all Opposed Tests.

Attacking Infomorphs

Infomorphs have no physical form, so they may not be directly attacked in the same sense as other morphs. It is possible, however, to target infomorphs with various types of network and hacking attacks.

Brainhacking Infomorphs

Because their minds are in digital form, infomorphs may be targeted for brainhacking in the same manner as cyberbrains. To hack an infomorph’s simulated brain, the attacker must know the target’s mesh ID and have access to its home device. A hacker outside of the home device must go through the same steps as hacking their way in for any other purpose (see Intrusion). Alternatively, the infomorph may be captured and run on a lockbox (see Forknapping, below). For distributed infomorphs, the attacker needs only the mesh ID and access to one of the devices on which the infomorph is running. Brainhacking an infomorph suffers the same –30 modifier as infiltrating a cyberbrain.
Brainhacked infomorphs are subject to memory hacking, scorching, shut down, and termination of their backup recording, just as cyberbrains. Entrapment may be used to lock the infomorph down to a particular device, preventing it from moving elsewhere—this is usually the first action an intruder takes. It may also be used to force an infomorph to move to a new device. Hacked infomorph egos may also be forcibly resleeved, forked, have their plug-ins and upgrades disabled or removed, or subjected to narcoalgorithms or psychosurgery. Since psychosurgery and other brainhacking options can take a while and could easily be interrupted, intruders usually move or copy a victimized infomorph to a secure server. Even better, the captive ego may be placed in a simulspace with an altered time rate so that psychosurgery can be conducted more quickly.
Like other intrusions, hacking an infomorph leaves traces, both on the device and on the infomorph’s mind-emulation suite’s logs. While these traces will not normally be noticed in the normal course of operation, if anyone investigates the target or the hacker’s activities, this hacking may be revealed. The only way to prevent this is through further hacking to remove all traces of this intrusion (see Eliminating Intrusion Traces).

DoS Attacks Against Infomorphs

Rather than targeting an entire device, a hacker can target an individual infomorph with a denial-of-service attacks. The target’s mesh ID must be known or they must be traced, and the attacker must have security or admin privileges on the device on which the infomorph is running (or they must hack the device, requiring a separate Infosec Test).
DoS attacks against infomorphs are handled the same as DoS attacks against devices. For example, if the attacker succeeds, the target is treated as if they were on an overloaded server. A –30 modifier applies to Infosec Tests against infomorphs running on servers. Crashed infomorphs take only 1 full Action Turn to reboot.
The amount of activity required to DoS an infomorph on its home device may impact other users on that device. A DoS attack that impacts an infomorph as if they are on a minimal system will affect all other users on the device as if it were overloaded; a DoS attack that crashes an infomorph will reduce the device to minimal status. Attackers who are remotely accessing the device may suffer from glitches just like other users. DoS attacks do not last particularly long on well-run servers, because the administrators and security AIs rapidly work to locate the source of the attack and attempt a lockout. If the attacker is not on the server, they trace them and alert the administrators of the server from which the attack is originating.
Distributed infomorphs may also be targeted with DoS attacks as long as their mesh ID is known. Since distributed infomorphs are more reliant on communication between devices, they are more vulnerable to such attacks: apply a +30 modifier to the attacker’s roll.
Defensive DoSing: DoS attacks can sometimes be used for good. If someone is brainhacking an ally infomorph, a character can always DoS their friend to impede the brainhack or even shut the victimized infomorph down. In this case, however, the intruder has the option of resisting the DoS attack.

Forknapping

Forknapping is the process of stealing an infomorph, fork, or backup of an ego. There are many reasons one might do this: interrogation, indentured service, unethical research, torture, and other perverse pursuits. Criminal cartels like Nine Lives and the ID Crew make a fortune trafficking in stolen egos. Most forknapping is done surreptitiously to avoid attention and trouble—the victim may never even realize a copy of their ego was spirited away.
There are many ways to kidnap infomorphs, forks, or backups. The easiest is to simply break into a system where inactive forks or backups or stored. Some cartels have insiders operating within body banks and farcasting facilities that discreetly copy egos that pass through. The most brutal simply murder people and steal their cortical stacks.
Other forknappers target active infomorphs. Those with strong hacking skills break into insecure servers and methodically brainhack the infomorphs running there, copying forks with the victim never even realizing it. Others employ trickery to lure unsuspecting victims into slave eidolons or lockboxes, where they are forked and then have their memories erased before being let go.

Lockout

An opponent with security or admin privileges on an infomorph’s home system may attempt to lockout the infomorph. This follows the procedures as noted here. Note that the opponent must first have achieved a locked status on the infomorph. A locked-out infomorph may take its next action to make an Interfacing Test at –30 to rapidly move itself to another networked device. If it fails, the infomorph is essentially deleted from the system.

Narcoalgorithms

The same drug-emulating narcoalgorithms used by egos sleeved in synthmorphs also work on infomorphs. Treat them as plug-ins for rules purposes. Inflicting a narcoalgorithm on an involuntary infomorph requires a successful brainhack.
Some servers treat particular narcoalgorithms as viruses and monitor their system processes for any sign of them. Virus AIs that invade servers and attempt to brainhack infomorphs and hit them with narcoalgorithms are a common and recurring nuisance in many polities. On the other hand, some infomorph communities embrace narcoalgorithms and make them available to any infomorph accessing the server.

See Also

AGIs and Infomorphs
Playing AGIs and Infomorphs
Software

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