The Firerider was a lightly modified Kuat Drive Yards Starwind-class pleasure yacht owned by the Twi'lek Serdo that operated in the Mid Rim. The yacht was mostly stock except for upgraded deflector shields and an added ion cannon that had been taken from a BTL Y-wing starfighter. It was well known as a charter craft for "up and comers" who needed to entertain important persons in style, but who couldn't afford a ship of their own. 
Serdo had a reputation for being a trustworthy and reliable being. In actuality, Serdo's charter business with the Firerider was a cover for his spice-smuggling operation. His high profile clients provided the perfect shield against customs agents, counting on the fact that customs officials wouldn't chance inconveniencing a Moff, a powerful executive or a high-ranking military officer with an intrusive customs inspection.
Unknown to either Serdo, the Firerider was a disaster waiting to happen. On one of Serdo's last runs Imperial Intelligence managed to sabotage the navigational computer in an attempt to assassinate a group of Rebel sympathizers traveling on the ship from Coruscant to the Mid Rim. The virus in the nav computer would lie dormant until a specific set of hyperspace coordinates was entered. When activated, the virus would simulate a general systems failure, shutting down power, communications, propulsion and life support, dooming the ship's passengers and crew.