- "Never use your pet's name as a password, Lord Vader."
- ―Unidentified slicer
The term "slicer" was used to describe computer experts, often self-taught, who excelled at working within a complex computer network, and were able to extract information from this network with great skill. Often, this information was secured by any number and manner of encryption and lockout systems, and a skilled slicer was able to circumvent these systems without triggering alarms.
The Galactic Empire, Alliance to Restore the Republic, New Republic, and assorted law-enforcement and criminal organizations[source?] as well as several members of the Jedi Order during the Old Republic employed computer experts to write and slice code. While most code slicing could be performed by droids, the "personal touch" was often required for special jobs.
- "Good thing you didn't keep me waiting. I don't like to be kept waiting. If you had kept me waiting, I would have charged you triple overtime."
- ―D/Crypt technician
Slicers used specialized computers and scramble keys, many built by the slicers themselves, to eke out a living in the digital world. These computers were carefully guarded and constantly modified and upgraded by the slicer, who rarely discussed its specs except with like-minded individuals. Complex access codes and even self-destruct mechanisms were often used to prevent a slicer's computer from falling into the wrong hands.
Many freelance slicers charged their clients for these "necessary" modifications as part of the requirements for the job in question.
Slicers essentially had two, or sometimes more identities. In place of their true identity, slicers generally used code names; even regular business associates would not know a slicer's true identity. Keeping their true identity a secret was very important to successful slicers; they would rather not have to spend their time evading law-enforcement personnel, bounty hunters, and fringers with personal vendettas. Criminal slicers tended to use flashy pseudonyms, while government and corporate slicers often had militaristic code names or alphanumeric designations.
Socketguards were specially designed to combat slicers.
Slicer droids were intelligent automatons that excelled at sifting through mounds of useless data for the one needed factoid.
Identity slicers were forgers who specialized in altering the identity of their client. Going beyond providing new identification papers or holographic disguises, skilled identity slicers could alter one's genetic code or construct a perfect genetic duplicate, as Anomid identity slicer Dretcher did for the con artist Gault Rennow.
Behind the scenes
A slicer or the verb slicing are all equal to the real life term hacker or hacking, along with the stereotyped appearance.