Talk:Command Navigation Program

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How CNP Infiltration Differs from Infection

My understanding is that, while the CNP is obviously functional and works as designed, the CNP's backdoors was what made it dangerous. Whether the CNP's backdoors allowed activation of a virus, Trojan, or system command access seems consistent now with our viewing the behavior of a Cylon virus on Galactica in "Flight of the Phoenix", although the CNP was never loaded on their computers.

It's reasonable to assume that post-war (modern) Colonial ships were still not easily hackable despite their advancements, so it took the CNP backdoors to make that happen. As far as Galactica was concerned, it's relatively primitive computers were not as advanced as those used on other Battlestars and were more likely to be directly infected, as done in "Scattered""--IF they were accessible by wireless. Obviously the computers were never available for infection until the events of "Scattered".

It's likely that the process of networking Galactica's computers with hard lines at Gaeta's console (Gaeta mentions in "Scattered" that he would network the FTL computer with the Navigation, Damage Control, and Fire Control computers) also interfaced them to the comm channels of the ship and to ship's wireless by default. Otherwise, Gaeta would not be fearful of simply creating a closed network to make the calculations. Networking any computers on Galactica would automatically create a wireless portal to them. Interesting Colonial technology in that way; it's like two laptops that automatically form a wireless connection when they want to share data.

So the Raider's programming may be two-fold. Option one: Attempt access to an enemy ship via a CNP backdoor, where it may activate a Trojan Horse program in the CNP or directly command the CNP to stop operation of the ship. Option two: Use First War tactics and attempt to hack and infect a computer that's available by wireless. Just my take on it, but it's consistent with show events. Spencerian 15:46, 23 September 2005 (EDT)

Strictly speaking, Computer viruses and worms are defined by their ability to proliferate. It would be most proper to state that the CNP (or part of it) was a Cylon-designed Trojan horse.
The Logic Bomb that infected Galactica's systems was obviously very different - either a remote exploit or the work of a Cylon agent onboard Galactica, as I speculated on the "Scattered" page. --Peter Farago 15:53, 23 September 2005 (EDT)
A Trojan Horse is typically a malevalent application disguised as a benevolent one, with no "good" code within. Trojans generally do not activate themselves (as viruses do) or proliferate themselves (as worms do). The CNP was a functional program with backdoors that allowed commands, of which shut down commands, commands to activate a hidden virus or worm inside the CNP code, or copy commands to receive and activate a new virus would work. In "Scattered", Galactica becomes infected by the Cylon virus transmitted by the attacking fleet using old-school War I tactics--that I'm pretty certain of at this point since we have no other data to support otherwise, and fits Galactica's technology base. Doesn't mean there wasn't someone on the inside that copied back the virus code on a low-level system into Galactica after the initial purge in "Scattered." We already know of one or two Cylon infiltrators (Godfrey, Biers), and at least 6 others remain at large. The virus created the Logic Bomb...or the Logic Bomb was implanted by an infiltrator, yes, but we have no way of knowing just yet.Spencerian 17:25, 23 September 2005 (EDT)

CNP on Civilian Ships

In the miniseries, Doral approaches Baltar with a report he requested: "You asked for a report on how many civilian ships had your CNP program?" Seems pretty clear to me. --Peter Farago 12:43, 3 January 2006 (EST)

Still need clarification

Okay, my thinking was that the CNP backdoors allowed a virus to enter which in turn shut down their systems; I mean when we hear about windows having a flaw, it's "a flaw that a virus could exploit". Of course I'm not a computer expert, but it seems like a virus exploiting the CNP flaws.--The Merovingian (C - E) 14:03, 17 April 2006 (CDT)

Well, when you're not inside the castle (like most viruses), your only options are to enter by whatever means are available. But when you have a bad guy who helps design and build the castle, you have the potential not only for intentional design flaws that might be exploited, but also the opportunity to have people inside the castle before the fighting begins. They see the signal flare and they can open the gates (allowing more viruses entry) and/or cause damage of their own. Baltar's Caprica-Six might have inserted hidden commands that shut things down, or that opened up exploits for outsiders to take advantage of, or possibly both. Real-life viruses tend to do the same, opening holes for other viruses even as they are doing damage themselves. Whether or not the hidden programming inside the CNP did the damage itself, or opened up the exploits for the outside viruses to take advantage of, credit for the kill would still likely fall to the CNP programming, for making it all possible. --Steelviper 14:14, 17 April 2006 (CDT)
I thought it was like programmed in that would do the same thing. I think Six said, I rewrote half your algorthims. --Shane (T - C - E) 16:34, 17 April 2006 (CDT)
Six was referring to Baltar's programming of the CNP itself, of which he wasn't doing a very good job at perfecting. Six made it work, but she also added a bit of extras. If the CNP was a castle, Six added a special magician that, on the Cylon's command, turned its "king" (commander/pilot) into a jester and surrendered the castle instantly. --Spencerian 16:43, 17 April 2006 (CDT)
We've had this conclusion several times, so I'm being forced to use bold text here to make sure my point is clear: There was. no. virus. The CNP included a backdoor which allowed the cylons to dial in and shut down their systems at will. Classic trojan horse. No virus involved. --Peter Farago 21:19, 17 April 2006 (CDT)
I didn't know that's what a Trojan did. --The Merovingian (C - E) 21:31, 17 April 2006 (CDT)
Don't worry; I'm sure under some yet newer taxonomy it's, e.g., a "hedgehog" or a "plaguecarrier." At least some of the experts on computer security truly enjoy inventing new terminology; years ago, all would have been called a virus, and implementation idiosyncracies would be left to the specific name. For future reference, one can usually get away with being accurate, if highly broad, by calling the item "malware." --CalculatinAvatar 22:07, 17 April 2006 (CDT)
I think the reason you have that impression was that viruses actually were the most common type of malware back in the floppy disk era. Most e-mail "viruses" are actually worms, distinguished by their ability to replicate on their own, without piggybacking on another executable which they must "infect". The definition of a trojan horse is essentially something installed in good faith with a hidden malevolent purpose. This sort of, but does not quite perfectly include the idea of a "backdoor", which is really the best possible term to describe the CNP. --Peter Farago 22:37, 17 April 2006 (CDT)
I'm well aware of the distinctions, and I think that the simple fact that boot-sector-overriding programs, including some with beneficial purposes like real-time encryption of disk access, and corruptions of normal user programs use the same term is a clear indication that initially they were made in far less detail. For the most part, jargon exists to identify a community and mystify victi\b\b\b\b\bcustomers. Originally, malware lacked the frequency, variety, or crystalization of attack patterns necessary for the irksome, mostly useless nit-picking of current terminology. --CalculatinAvatar 23:34, 17 April 2006 (CDT)
Still, I think it behooves us not to misuse that terminology, nit-picking as it may be. --Peter Farago 23:45, 17 April 2006 (CDT)
A really good term is worm. :) --Shane (T - C - E) 22:47, 17 April 2006 (CDT)
A worm has to be self-propagating. The CNP isn't. --Peter Farago 23:05, 17 April 2006 (CDT)

What did it actually do?

What was the CNP designed to do, excatly? What were the advantages over the previous system? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Spidersense215 (talk • contribs). --Shane (T - C - E) 22:59, 27 April 2006 (CDT)

I'd surmise that it plotted courses (minimally according to some metric like distance or fuel, given a database of the known contents of charted space and their properties) and executed autopilot burns of the engines to follow those courses, watching for obstructions and issuing a warning should one block the course. The word "Command" suggests it might allow remote overrides of destination, etc.; this would likely be the functionality abused by the Cylons. The previous system probably did all but the remoting, since a navigation program is a rather obvious thing to put in a spaceship and the software was likely quite refined by the time of the CNP.
To be clear, "I'd surmise" means I made that up. It's a guess, and that's why it's not on the page itself. They've never told us a real answer. --CalculatinAvatar 15:17, 27 April 2006 (CDT)
I don't know, that seems pretty rudimentary for something that required "OMG teh Forbidden AI technologies", if you will. --Peter Farago 16:02, 27 April 2006 (CDT)
The plotting of an optimal course in space (relatively) near objects seems to me like a variational problem desiring a function f(t) giving a vector of the thrusts from each engine at time t such that C(f) the cost in fuel or time is minimal and the intial position plus the integral of f(t) modified by the forces exerted by the nearby objects over the time used is the destination. This seems related to the n-body system, but I admit my familiarity with the topic is limited. A cursory glance at Google returns gives a source stating good approximation of the solution to a n-body problem is possible in O(n) for each time step (with a complicated algorithm by the standards of someone implementing parallel algorithms for solutions to integral equations). This makes the problem seem tough but trivial compared to an AI. --CalculatinAvatar 22:14, 27 April 2006 (CDT)
Frankly, the CNP was a super-avionics package, nothing more. It also appeared to combine many tactical advantages in fleet combat with improved DRADIS, navigation and battle plans (possibly, fighters or battlestars could coordinate their maneuvers better under a single set of commands) and the like. For the older stuff, see the innards of the Viper Mark II (Miniseries) where we see Starbuck fly the first time. Worked fine. Not flashy, but also it couldn't be hacked--then, or "now." --Spencerian 07:05, 28 April 2006 (CDT)

Means of Transmission

How would the Cylons actually transmit the signals to override the CNP on the target ship? Would it be received via the ship's wireless system?--Rapturous 00:42, 18 October 2007 (CDT)

I think so. There's not really another way that we know of. --Catrope(Talk to me or e-mail me) 05:47, 18 October 2007 (CDT)
To clarify: The Cylons (via Caprica-Six) helped build the thing, so naturally they would know how to talk to it, through its normal means, or by a backdoor means unexplained. And they don't appear to override the CNP. They just appear to tell it to shut down everything, including itself. It would be like your computer turning itself off and your power button would not respond to starting it up. --Spencerian 00:09, 19 October 2007 (CDT)
Since Six had such a major part in writing CNP, it's even possible that the signal to override the CNP can be sent to any system capable of receiving, processing and sharing electromagnetic information with the CNP. For example, if the CNP is getting feed from DRADIS, the Cylons could send a particular signal that would mimic DRADIS return, which would make the DRADIS receivers would automatically pickup. Then the DRADIS computer would go "This seems like random sensor noise to me, but hey CNP, does this mean anything to you?" At which point the CNP goes "Did you just toss that Aparture Science we-don't-know-what-it-does into an Aparture Science Emergency Intellegence Incinerator?! That has got to be the... Whoa.. Whoaa.... Whoaaaaaaaaaa.......". Personally, I think this is more likely than using Colonial wireless as a point of entry, simply because that's too obvious and easily stopped. I can't see why the Colonials would network communications to the ship's other systems, even after firewalling it to hell and back. Meanwhile, no one ever seems to ever turn off the DRADIS in BSG and key systems like fire control and navigation almost certainly talk to it directly. --David Templar 20:57, 10 November 2007 (CST)