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JmOz

tracking/hacking cell phones

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To track, Radio Perception is the obvious basis. 

 

After that it's a matter of special effects.  The quasi-Mentalist approach would be Mind Scan, Mind Link, Mind Control, all affecting phones rather than minds.  The tech basis would be Radio Percept and Transmit, with Discriminatory (to find the right signal out of the sea of numbers) and Targeting (to track the signal to the phone).  The hack is basically no different from hacking a computer over the internet.  Note that probably the Radio Percept/Transmit might need Invis Power Effects to trick the phone to accept the credentials you need to get into the OS and actually do the hack, but if you think that's overthinking this...that's fine.  Remember:  the phone user will have a direct indication that he's receiving data.

 

I would think there's some source materials that gives some decent examples of hacking a computer.  This shouldn't be easy or quick.

 

 

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It's for a Street Level Champions game.  It will be vehicle based (a part of the characters vehicle)

 

The idea is the ability to track someone via the phone (either GPS or the signal)  and being able to listen in to the conversation more than actually "hacking" the phone

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OK so the tech approach.  Radio Perception with Discriminatory.  The tracker can call the phone, well in advance, to get the identifying characteristics.  Finding it initially might take a while.  Once it's found, you can pretty much keep the lock.  One thing here is, I suspect this would drain the phone power rather quickly, which would be noticeable, and the phone powering down would break the lock you have.  

 

And yes, this can be done......but.  "Find My Phone" apps work with the phone in standby, but IIRC, NOT quietly.  The phone will buzz, ring, or whatever, so the user's gonna be alerted.  Bypassing that becomes a hack...or says, OK, your tracker found/bought info to exploit security loopholes, so this tracking doesn't trigger alarms.  You can't stop the battery drain, and you can't stop the user, if he's looking, from seeing the activity on the phone.  But I can buy an advanced hacker finding an exploit.

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Not disagreeing, and I am more interested in the build than the f/x (I have that covered)

 

Why discriminatory, not disagreeing, just trying to wrap my head around the logic...also would that cover the eavesdropping?

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Well at first I was thinking you'd need it to sift through the signals, cuz they all look the same.  If you capture the phone's ID info in advance, you might get by without it.  I'd still say, put it in to monitor a call just because there's so many conflicting calls.  This isn't like a tap on a landline, it's more like following a conversation while inside a stadium full of cheering/jeering/talking fans.  I will grant, I prefer to take a narrower view, and to say, put the points in.  

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If you know the phone number, without getting overly complicated, for game purposes:

 

Hack the telephone carrier for the ANI, use the ANI in the system to track last known Cell Tower Ping, find that cell phones ID via that (probably a combination of skills related to however you handle hacking systems in your game), track via GPS (detect radio, GPS signals).

 

Basically the telephone company already does all this - hack them.

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On 6/27/2018 at 2:48 PM, JmOz said:

It's for a Street Level Champions game.  It will be vehicle based (a part of the characters vehicle)

 

The idea is the ability to track someone via the phone (either GPS or the signal)  and being able to listen in to the conversation more than actually "hacking" the phone

In my last campaign a player could use their Phone to hack other devices. Since it was a minor element of a champions character (and based on her justification), we simply bought her Computer Programming, Security Systems, and a 3-point Computer Link to "phones sold to criminals by my boss". Whether or not the target had a linked phone was entirely up to GM fiat (aka me deciding where he'd bought it). Otherwise she had to go through more realistic hacking steps (it was champions though... so "realistic comic book hacking" is still unrealistic at best).

Smart Phones were everyman equipment (per the ridiculously overbuilt document I have posted online),. The rest of her 'hacking equipment" were peripherals I ruled came free with having purchased the skill roll. Good equipment would have been Skill Levels via Focus

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Couldn't you buy the listening in as telepathy, only vs mobile devices, only to listen, requires a skill roll?  That might be over complicating it, however.

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For a street level game I would probably go with Programming, Security Systems and System operations. Probably establish some baseline targets like:

 

Make Security Systems roll (opposed if target is aware and can take countermeasures). System Operations and Programming are complimentary, +1 per 2 you make roll by. Default difficulty is -5 for standard phones. Modifiers:

 

Known DID or Phone #: +2

Has been in physical presence of phone while a call was active: +2

Secure Phone: -2 or more

Encryption software used: -2 or more

 

If you have a really savvy villain who has their own hacker they can use the above and make it skill versus skill.

 

- E

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1 hour ago, g3taso said:

Mind Scan 1d6 (5 Active Points); Only to establish physical location (-1), IIF (Focus (Cell Phone); -1/4)

Do you mean the player is using a cell phone to do the work? Otherwise it is not a focus. And in this case it is probably bulky equipment on a vehicle. 

 

Mind Scan at 1d6 for machine mind type might work assuming the GM assigns them a low ego / int (6 or less). But it's going to take you a LONG time to find the phone (in a small city, -10 to roll) since you'd need to roll a 3 to get a lock. And then all that does is tell you where they are. Clairaudience would be needed to listen in.

 

- E

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On 7/12/2018 at 1:52 PM, eepjr24 said:

Clairaudience would be needed to listen in.

 

Agreed.  Clairsentiece (Hearing Group), Mobile, Only through "senses" of others, One sense only (normal hearing).  Maybe require an Attack roll based on locating the cell phone.

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