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Command Navigation Program

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide

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This article details how the Cylons compromised Colonial Fleet defenses by cracking the Colonial flight operating system in the Re-imagined Series.
For other related computer or biological attacks, see Virus.


Developed by computer scientist Gaius Baltar, the Command Navigation Program (CNP) is a operating system[1] utilized by the Colonial Fleet and some civilian spaceships in the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.[2]

Installed in the central computers of Vipers and Raptors and in the navigation computers of almost all battlestars, the CNP was more than two years in the making.

Contents

Backdoors

The CNP managed the avionics of Viper Mark VIIs and almost all battlestars before the few fighters that survived were retrofitted after the attack.

Unbeknownst to Dr. Baltar, his lover and co-writer of the CNP turns out to be a version of the humanoid Cylon known as Number Six.

The Cylon infiltrator programmed backdoors into the CNP so that the Cylon attack forces could render any ships that use the operating system to shut itself down by a remote command.

Battlestars and fighters begin to shut down during the Colonial defensive "as if a switch were flipped."[3] Communications officer Dualla describes reports of "system failures" throughout the Fleet and how at least one battlestar loses power when the attack begins, which indicates, that the Cylons use the CNP to damage and, in at least one case, disable capital ships as well (Miniseries).

Usage of the CNP on Galactica

The CNP was previously received by Galactica, but the program was never loaded into the primary memory of the ship's navigation computer.

Galactica herself is spared from Cylon computer attacks as the CNP is not loaded on any of her computers, nor were her computer systems networked, sparing the ship from any backdoor or cracking attempts.

Unfortunately, Galactica does support a modern squadron of Viper Mark VII fighters, which received the upgrade. As a result, the squadron is massacred by two Raiders on their way back to Caprica.

Lieutenant Felix Gaeta has the CNP source code purged from the mainframe on Baltar's instruction. The program is also retrograded on the flight systems of surviving Mark VII Vipers, Raptors, and civilian ships (Miniseries).

Notes

  • The CNP is not a virus, nor is it a worm or Trojan Horse, but an example of backdoor exploitation of a secured computer system through a secreted password or other hidden access in order to gain command privileges.
  • The backdoor tactic differs from the Cylons' older infiltration tactics used in the first Cylon War of using their computers to seek exploits within and forcibly enter ("crack") a Colonial computer, whereby the attacked computer is infected with a virus that causes havoc on the Colonial computer.

References

  1. The Command Navigation Program is an actual operating system (similar, after a fashion, to the Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems on today's personal computers) that works as designed. However, the work of Number Six adds the compromises that allows the Cylons to control it.
  2. Aaron Doral provides a requested report to Gaius Baltar in CIC: "You asked for a report on how many civilian ships had your CNP program?" (Miniseries).
  3. The process is similar to how some home and business computers today can be taken over secretly and remotely for use in nefarious purposes on the Internet, such as email spamming.


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