Friday 13 July 2007

The Best Hacker/Security Movies

It’s fair to say my recent blog entries have been a bit too serious of late, so I guess its time for a more light-hearted security related blog entry, so here's my top three favourite Security/Hacker movies of all time.

3. WarGames
Sure WarGames is an old and dated film by todays standards, but it has a nice example of war dialling, which has pretty much gone into the hacking history books. There's plenty of other realistic hacking techniques, like actually stealing password from the school secretary's draw, (locking draws should be part of a tidy desk policy right?), still the second half of the movie kind of goes completly off the rails.

2. Firewall
This is the movie where the Security guy, not the hacker, is the hero! Sure it might not be the best movie ever made, but it makes my list for one particular scene, which is near the beginning, when Harrison Ford actually enters an Access List on a Cisco Router, “correctly”, although if I was tetchy I would of expected him to be adjusting a signature on a Cisco IPS device. In his defence he makes up for that by babelling on about reducing false positives, which I thought was a nice touch and funny, because it's exactly the sort of thing I babel on about when talking IPS with the techies. The Firewall movie comes in very handy for those party situations when someone asks what you do for a living, you say Information Security Manager, a lot of folks don’t really get it, well now I can follow up with “you know that Harrison Ford movie Firewall...”

1. Hackers
This might be a controversial one, with it's use of graphical animations to portray the hacking rather than the realistic command stuff and realistic hacks, but lets face it, it would be a pretty boring if the movie showed realistic command line hacking. Anyway I just like the movie and it makes the top of my list as the whole movie has a hacking/Security theme, plus it has some good examples of social engineering. I often reference this movie in my management security presentations, to show how the hacker has involved from the sterotypical "teen hackers" as seen in this movie, to becoming more organised and financially motivated.

The worst movie in this genre has to be “The Net”, not just because it’s a really terrible movie, but there's a scene where Sandra Bullock types in an invalid IP address, it was some like “421.643.21.2”, when I first watched this film I remember going absolutely nuts on seeing that, promptly spoiling the film for everyone within “loud ranting” range. It still sends a cold chill down my spine thinking about it today.

There were plenty of other movies I considered, the Matrix series almost got into my top three, especially as there’s a scene in the Matrix Reload, where Trinity uses nmap to scan ports! Other movies included The Lawnmower Man, Sneakers, Tron, Johnny Mnemonic, even Independence Day, with the hacking on the Alien mothership and the introduction of a computer virus! But I kept my list down to the out and out security/hacker themed movies.

If anyone has any other suggestions or recommendations to watch, please comment.

Hack the Planet!


Anonymous said...

Please add "Swordfish" to the list of all time horrible hacker movies! :)

I will never forget the scene where the guy decrypts high level encryption in 5 minutes! More here:

Anonymous said...

Well he had a backdoor...its like putting steel gates and, laser sensor at the main gate while leaving a secret entry at the back.

Anonymous said...

How about Sneakers and Takedown? Some people don't like Takedown but it's based on a true story.

Unknown said...

Nmap is Sick!i love when trinity saw the Nmap output , then she opened "sshnuke" which begins "[a]ttempting to exploit SSHv1 CRC32." i bet she wishes i had made sooner