Hacking was first introduced around August 2009. However, Kinak was not satisfied with the system so scrapped it in favour of the new Novos hacking system, introduced in early 2013. This page details how the Novos hacking works, currently used by all the computer systems you come across while playing a beta reset. The Net still uses the pre-Novos system for now, but will be upgraded at some point in the near future. For details on the old system, see Pre-Novos Hacking.
Hacking let you break into computer systems and look up information or issue false commands.
Each computer system is different, and consists of a number of Routines. The Routines represent different things you can interact with in a computer system - for example, a list of files to read, a controller for a drone or a security defense. You can target a routine with a batch of Functions to interact with it; different routines have different responses depending on the functions you used.
To hack a system, you need a PDA with a Processor and Memory. Although not required, installing Programs on your PDA can give you more powerful Functions to use, but the number of programs you can install is limited by your Processor and Memory.
Most actions that you do will alert the system to your presence. If you make too much of a disturbance, the system will activate defenses and eventually block you from the system.
For more details, see Hacking encounters.
Each round of hacking, you submit a batch of one or more functions, and aim it at a target Routine. The functions in the batch can perform one of four actions:
The functions are added together to get a total value for each of the four action types, and this determines the response of the routine you targeted. For example, using some View on a file system may let you read the files, whereas using Offense on it could crash it. Different combinations of actions can result in different responses depending on the routine. Additionally, Code Finesse can affect the results you get.
Once you submit a batch of functions, you get a series of messages describing the results of your actions. In general, this takes the form of:
- List of functions used in the batch.
- Post-batch function interactions/responses.
- Targeted routine response.
- Non-targeted routine responses (from defensive systems).
- Alert increase.
- System Response.
- Any item drops, effects or XP gained
Every round, you normally generate some alert on the system, meaning the system becomes more aware of your intrusion. Sources of alert include:
- Using Unsubtle functions
- Reconnecting to get a new set of functions
- Targeting routines
- Allowing defensive routines to report your actions
Your current alert in the system is listed on the left-hand pane. Once the alert reaches a certain threshold (normally 15-25, depending on the system), the system will block you and you will have to start hacking afresh. There are also lesser alert thresholds where the system will active defensive routines such as Watching Eyes. Incognito can reduce the amount of alert gained, allowing you to do more actions before getting blocked.
For more details, see Novos Alert.