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The Nightstar Zoo • View topic - 2018-10-2 Millions of Ships

The Nightstar Zoo

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:12 pm 
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That seems reasonable, if a little hard on the Toughs. Sure, Chinook was driven insane by a multi-million-year-old trap, but the Toughs knew the infrastructure was questionable, and should of installed safeguards when installing Chinook.

This goes a long way towards me retracting my earlier rant. You can't claim credit for fixing it if you haven't actually fixed it.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:46 pm 
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Rule of thumb is that if you need to use a squeegee, they're at least Laz-4.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:36 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:39 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:49 am 
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They had PLENTY of safeguards, they just couldn't safeguard against things that they had no idea existed at all.

Namely, the ROOT ACCESS SUBROUTINE that Tkkuts-Afa installed to edit itself, forcefully and without possibility of cancellation.

That's basically like trying to safeguard against your IDENTICAL TWIN that nobody knew you had killing you and taking over your life. Or just ruining your credit score.

And that subroutine had to be hidden, or else Afa could have found and disabled it.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:21 am 
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For the sake of argument, let's take as given that the Toughs count as installing Chinook; Iafa actually did it but the Toughs were in a position to install a new one or just leave the station without an AI so it's reasonable to attribute the decision to have Chinook stay on after the immediate crises was resolved to the Toughs.

I think the Oafans have a decent case that the Toughs were negligent; Tagii had already shown dangerous instability in unexpected hardware conditions. The subroutine was unforseeable, but Chinook going nuts due to some aspect of the system they'd missed was something they should've considered.

Also, they don't seem to be suing, they're just not paying the Toughs for replacing their insane AI with a sane one on the basis that the new AI is insane. If they'd made a contract in advance it'd probably have a clause saying the Toughs wouldn't get paid if the new AI was insane. And with a typical software contract, they'd probably have paid the Toughs on delivering Chinook but when she went nuts they'd demand the Toughs come fix it for free because they paid for a sane AI. Bugfixes aren't billable unless the buyer's contract lawyer is really bad.

More proximately, Chinook de facto failed User Acceptance Testing; there was no point where the Oafans said "okay, looks good to us; here's the money and we'll call you if anything goes wrong." Her performance prior to the intergalactic Long Gun attacks probably would've passed, but you don't get paid until it passes testing by the client. Their legal position is ironclad; their only responsibility is to agree on what they're buying and pay up if it's provided. Everything else is the Toughs' problem. UAT is just a chance for the Oafans to check if it's what they agreed to before paying up

However you portion out obligations and responsibilities, the fact remains that when the Oafans emerged from the infosphere their station was still run by an insane AI. So from their perspective nothing was accomplished. Technically the Toughs indirectly released them, but it's really Petey and the Allstar they owe for that.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:29 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:53 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:15 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:45 pm 
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I'm sure she could have somehow avoided it, but it's basically a rootkit using a zero-day exploit; any system that isn't literally infallible is potentially subject to that sort of threat. No backup system would truly have fixed the problem; the script was already executing the moment Chinook was installed. No self-diagnostic would be guaranteed to find it; the script could tamper with the diagnostic and sabotage any error checking. The script isn't an error; it's well-designed malware.

It's possible another AI would've been more resistant to spiraling into madness, but the Toughs' real screwup was relying on the self-diagnostics of a potentially compromised system. They should have analyzed it using a different system, one where the script couldn't tamper with the analysis tools themselves (hopefully).


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:10 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:59 am 
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There's a number of ways it could work, but clearly it's intentionally designed to avoid detection and removal by the AI on the system, and high-end malware regularly sabotages antivirus systems and tampers with removal tools if it's managed to secure the necessary permissions. I had one hellish week trying to scrape out a virus that kept making my antivirus tools cut their scans short.

Backups might have been able to restore her to a non-crazy state, but they'd have backed up the script too so she'd just go crazy again in short order.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:49 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:28 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:54 am 
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Well, it was added in by Iafa at a later date, so I'd assume software.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:11 am 
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She could have fabbed and installed new hardware just as easily. As we know from here and here there are even fabbers dedicated to that.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:52 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:57 pm 
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