The Lane Hackers are a criminal group with the technical expertise to monitor and disrupt Trade Lanes for the purpose of seizing valuable cargo. The powerful alliance between Lane Hackers, Liberty Rogues and Outcasts serves as the dominant unlawful force in Liberty space and most Independent Worlds.
The Lane Hackers are mostly composed of former Los Angeles Ageira Technologies employees who created the extremely complex scanning and database system known as USI (Universal Ship Identification). Departing the company rather acrimoniously in 750 AS, they have become a growing problem in the Independent Worlds. The Lane Hackers in Magellan and Galileo share one common origin -- Ageira. The scandal that erupted within the company after the great Galileo bypass project, which resulted in the unnecessary construction of a hugely expensive set of Jump Gates and Trade Lanes, forced several executives and an elite development team out. This would become the second part of the core of the Lane Hackers, along with the original California scanner group that fled to Magellan.
The investigation continues to this day, but has so far been unsuccessful in locating the Lane Hacker bases. No Hacker has ever been captured, although various Rogues in the Independent Worlds have been caught possessing remarkably accurate information regarding upcoming high-value shipments. Security measures have been added to the software, but the Hackers remain one step ahead, leading Ageira security experts to believe that there are many sympathetic programmers still within the company, possibly being secretly paid off with the proceeds from the thefts. The Lane Hackers prefer to sell their information to others rather than do the dirty work themselves, although they sometimes swoop in and tractor in a cargo if it’s particularly juicy.
Fancying themselves as modern-day Robinhoods, they avoid direct confrontation when possible, unless it is the henchmen of the despised IC and Ageira. They like to frequent Freeport 4 and the Ames Research Station, as their asteroid bases within the clouds can become claustrophobic. Their Cardamine addiction forces the Hackers to trade drugs for Trade Lane info with the Outcasts at the Mactan base. Leiden is a key transfer point for smuggled goods between Kusari and Liberty, especially the Artifact trade, which the Hogosha dominate. A steady stream of Hogosha ships make the journey to the Galileo system. The Lane Hackers have also been spotted in Colorado, leading authorities to speculate that there may be multiple Jump Hole routes into that system from the Independent Worlds.