Best Movie Computer Hacking Scenes

April 28, 2014
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So we’ve explored the worst hacking scenes in movies, where it proves that Hollywood knows nothing about technology. But in light of all that snarkiness and negativity, let’s take a look at the bright side. When Hollywood put in a little effort and created a computer hacking scene that was actually realistic. I’m talking about using the right program, showing real programming work, etc. Let’s check out the best computer hacking scenes in movies:

Sneakers (1992)

This was one of the first films to portray a realistic approach to computer hacking – complete with dumpster diving and multiple levels of social engineering. In fact the scene with Professor Janek was written by Len Adelman – co-inventor of the RSA (Rivest–Shamir–Adleman) cryptosystem – so yeah, I’ll bet the math in that scene is closer to reality than not. While the actual hacking is more of the Hollywood kind, this was the first film to show that the weakest link in most security systems are the people that use them.

The Social Network (2010)

The good thing about making a movie about the guy who co-created Facebook is that he also blogged about it, so it was easy to recreate the scenes. And they did that accurately too – except that in real life these things would take a lot longer and probably be a lot less glamorous. Also, if you think that they’re just spewing gibberish to each other when they talk, nope that’s all real stuff right there. Sexy ain’t it?

The Matrix (1999)

In the scene above Trinity uses NMap to scan for open ports, which is what real security people and hackers use. See Hollywood, real tools were used in a big Hollywood Blockbuster and it was still interesting and cool, in fact even more so because now it is also real.

Tron: Legacy (2010)

The people at Tron: Legacy went through a lot of trouble to portray correct computer usage.

So you see, getting it right doesn’t necessarily take away from the enjoyment of the movie, in fact one might argue that it actually adds to the movie. More and more people are knowledgeable about computers nowadays – perhaps not to hacker standards but we now know that computers aren’t magic and that the mainframe doesn’t access everything. Time for more movies to catch up. What movies do you think got hacking right?

Best Movie Computer Hacking Scenes 3 votes

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