|ICE and Black ICE (Automated Defences)|
Categories of ICE
Many companies and other groups with enough resources often not only trust their valuable stuff on system security and firewalls. While there is no doubt that those are excellent protection against intruders, automatic defences, 'bots', are often used in conjunction. Smaller corps might only use simple models, but even they usually got their defence bots.
Technically a bot is not much more then an overpowered library. With enough dedication and skill a library and a couple of procedures can be bound together into a bot. An automatic acting entity in a fight. However such bots are extremely dumb. They are unable to adapt to the environment. It is only possible to set their strategy, including aiming, once; after that the bot stupidly follows the orders, even if that particular enemy already left the system.
Don't underestimate such bots however. If seriously overpowered - as many corps construct them - they can pose a considerable danger to an unexperienced hacker. Unlike the small distraction bots, some hackers use, this ICE can be nasty. There have been reports of Powerlevels of 6 and higher with such defenses.
Don't get caught or you will face consequences beginning from loosing your account up until getting arrested.
Finally there is Military Black ICE. This type is more a rumour then covered by facts. It is said that the military and maybe even some megacorps actually menaged to construct some bots that are able to act like people. If this is indeed true is hard to say.
Dangers of ICE
So you know ICE is nasty. But you don't know how nasty it really can be. When you triggered ICE you already failed your hack. ICE can do much more however. If it menages to beat you it will actually start to trace you back home. Fortunately regular ICE isn't all that dangerous. You are only going to loose the system you used to hack into the ICE's home.
What? There wasn't a system - you triggered ICE on a system with a modem line? I think I hear the special commando knocking on your door...
Dangers of Black ICE
You thought ICE was nasty - wait till I tell you about Black ICE. Once activated it will attack you with much more energy then regular ICE. Also similar to its smaller brother it will start tracing you back home if it wins the cyberfight. Black ICE does not stop with one system however. If you are unlucky it can hunt you for up to 10 systems and more. You will loose all accounts on all systems the Black ICE menages to trace you to. How far the ICE can hunt you is determined by its sensitivity - also known as ICE rating of the original system. You always loose the 1st system you had been hacking from just like for regular ICE. In order to trace you further the ICE has a chance of its activation ratio. For every system farther away from its origin 10 points are deducted from that rating until the Black ICE is stopped or it passes your modem and has you caught.