Backlash is an umbrella term for techniques and software used to impart real harm on a Cyberrunner's mind. Since Cyberrunners are directly linked to The Web, their minds, if unprotected, are susceptible to certain commands, frequencies and power levels.   Backlashing, or lashing, a Cyberrunner isn't an easy task. Most Cyberrunners will run protection hardware in their cybernetic interface that protect against most common forms of lashing, provide isolation against spiking and protecting the mind from being invaded by malicious software.  

Common Backlashing

The most common form of backlash is Mindspike, also known as Spiking. It is a technique where an opposing Cyberrunner causes a huge surge, a spike, of voltage to flood the target's cybernetic interface. Unless the interface is isolated and protected from current surges, this will cause a strong jolt and a sharp pain, similar to migraines.   Even protected interfaces can technically be spiked, but it's very difficult unless there's a known exploit to bypass the isolation. Another option is to overload the interface with such a large spike that the surge protection won't be able to handle it. Higher tech interfaces will simply disconnect at such a large surge. Older interfaces with more primitive surge protection may fail at enough of a spike and a significantly strong mindspike may burn out the cybernetic interface, effectively locking the Cyberrunner out from accessing the Web until it is replaced in addition to causing headaches, disorientation and in some cases burn wounds around the interface.   There are stories about backlash techniques and tech that are so strong that they can completely wipe the mind of a Cyberrunner. While most people consider this mere ghost stories, everyone has heard of a friend of a friend who has been wiped.
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Cover image: Neos City by Jordan Grimmer


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