The Bad Batch: Tantiss base security

The cyber security measures of the Titans base as shown in the third season of “Star Wars: The Bad Beach”.

As usual, for May 4th (MTFBWY), we’re publishing a report for Star Wars fans, detailing how the Empire in a galaxy far, far away was careless about information security. . The subject of this year’s report is the recently concluded third season of the “Star Wars: The Bad Beach” animated series. As always, we have to warn that the text below may contain spoilers.

While apparently not the most serious format, the plot twists and overall narrative coherence in “The Bad Beach” are far better than recent live-action series and movies. Ever since the ninth episode “Palpatine somehow returns,” Lucasfilm creative director Dave Filoni has been trying to at least somewhat logically justify the return. So, the plot of the new animated series revolves around “Project Necromancer”, which is carried out at the top-secret Tentis base. And that’s all we need — a secret scientific institution, with unprecedented (for a Galactic Empire) security system that, nevertheless, fails regularly.

Measures to protect the secrecy of the Tantiss base’s location

Dr. Hemlock, leader of the Tantis Base and head of “Project Necromancer”, has the Emperor’s complete trust and unlimited resources. One of their jobs is to ensure the security and privacy of the base. And unlike most royal leaders we’ve seen before, he does his job responsibly.

There is no information about the location of this facility in any Imperial database. This, of course, causes some difficulties in the supply ship flights – Hemlock has taken security measures to keep the coordinates of his base secret. Any ship bound for the Tantiss base must dock with Imperial Station 003 in orbit of the Galactic Empire’s capital Coruscant and undergo a thorough inspection, including an inspection of the entire crew. The access code required for docking changes after each rotation. Tantiss coordinates are downloaded directly to the ship’s navigation computer immediately after take-off and are not stored there in any way. Obviously, they are downloaded from some isolated computer, since this database is not accessible from the network. Even accessing the station’s manifest, which stores information about ship locations, requires a separate access card.

Science ships that fly to Tantis use enhanced security protocols. In particular, they are equipped with proximity sensors that detect suspicious objects near the ship’s hull (it is not entirely clear why this technology is not used elsewhere in the Empire). Also, when someone is accessing the flight computer through the connection port for the droids, an alarm signal is sent to the pilot’s console. And this is the first case of at least some cyber protection of this data port.

Why these measures aren’t enough

Unfortunately, all precautions are completely pointless. The protagonists of the series, “Clone Force 99”, dock with the station with a valid clearance code still in their computer, using a recently stolen shuttle. Their unscheduled arrival certainly raises some suspicions, but a defector in an officer’s uniform who joins the clone squad uses social engineering methods to convince base personnel that he is on the station. The arrival of is permissible. He advises some suspicious officers to contact their superiors (and no one wants to contact Admiral Tarkin) and the gate guards are threatened with “Article 15 of Imperial Standing Order 10” from their posts. Dismisses.

Afterwards, Echo, a clone with a bunch of cybernetic enhancements, connects directly to the base computer through the droid’s port and finds out which ship is headed for the Tantiss base. He gets aboard the science ship via a separate dock for droid loading — for some reason no one is in control, while the human crew is being thoroughly scanned! While aboard the shuttle, he connects to a similar droid port and it indeed triggers an “undetected droid activity in the cargo hold” signal, but Echo merely stuns the trooper sent to investigate. And reassures through his communicator that everything is fine: it was an error. And then just turns off the proximity sensor.

Tantiss base defenses

The Tentis base also uses several security technologies unique to Imperial facilities. For example, the droids working on the station are capable of triggering an alarm remotely. But the main innovation of cybersecurity is that access to several critical scientific systems and zones is possible only after connecting an employee’s personal data pad through a special cradle. Those datapads are well encrypted. They stop working when they are removed from the base, and activating lockdown mode in the lab disables all datapad cradles.

The outer perimeter of the base is guarded, among other things, by trained local hounds (Lorca hounds). The base has tunnels leading to their stables, but they are protected by force fields, which are activated at the supervisor’s signal. Moreover, some tunnels have presence sensors that sound an alarm when unexpected activity is detected.

The main laboratory where the experimental subjects are kept is protected not only by security squads and force fields, but also by a door that is locked with a special key (only Hemlock himself and the base’s chief scientist have copies of the same key). . Regular blood samples are taken from experimental subjects by medical droids and sent through technological tunnels (also opened by medical droids).

Why these measures aren’t enough

Personal Data Pads do not have their own authentication system. If an attacker managed to get hold of the device, he would not only be able to open doors and operate elevators, but also gain access to secret information systems (and even drop heavy containers on the droids. will). Yes, the datapads are encrypted, but the encryption can be bypassed by connecting to any Imperial terminal on any Imperial base.

Motion detectors in the Lorca tunnels do not automatically activate the protection mechanism. The order is given by an officer, and may not be fast enough.

Technical tunnels for transporting blood samples are large enough for experimental subjects to crawl through. The hatches covering these tunnels can be opened mechanically using stolen medical equipment. They can be used not only to paralyze a medical droid, but also to reprogram it.

Some systems do not require authentication to access. In particular, the field that blocks a dangerous and practically invincible beast (the Zillo Beast) is turned off by pressing several buttons and pulling a lever from a nearby control panel. And we’re talking about a beast capable of completely destroying a base.

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