Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

4/20/2017
04:30 PM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail

6 Times Hollywood Got Security Right

Hollywood has struggled to portray cybersecurity in a realistic and engaging way. Here are films and TV shows where it succeeded.
3 of 7

Blackhat (2015)
Blackhat accurately portrays a few ideas that demonstrate how advanced cybercriminals can conduct attacks for economic gain and affect public safety. If someone wanted to bet on the price of oil, for example, they might trigger a hack that could change its value.
'The next generation of hackers will hack other aspects of our environment -- major businesses, critical infrastructure -- trying to pursue economic gain,' he says.
In his role as special advisor for the film, Devost says he wanted to bring more realism into Blackhat from a cybersecurity perspective. The experiences of understanding the Dark Web, spearphishing someone, and trying to access the NSA web portal are all ideas he wanted to be 'grounded in reality.'
'Many of the people who see this are security pros,' he explains. 'We want the story to be credible and stand the test of time.'
Cobb also lists Blackhat as an interesting example of a security-focused film, also citing the reality of manipulating computer systems for financial gain. On the technical side, 'quite a bit was accurate and not over-the-top' he says.
However, as in many tech-focused plotlines, there are dramatics. 'Is computer security like Blackhat? Yes ... except there's less international travel and gun fights,' Cobb notes.
(Image: Sergign via Shutterstock)

Blackhat (2015)

Blackhat accurately portrays a few ideas that demonstrate how advanced cybercriminals can conduct attacks for economic gain and affect public safety. If someone wanted to bet on the price of oil, for example, they might trigger a hack that could change its value.

"The next generation of hackers will hack other aspects of our environment -- major businesses, critical infrastructure -- trying to pursue economic gain," he says.

In his role as special advisor for the film, Devost says he wanted to bring more realism into Blackhat from a cybersecurity perspective. The experiences of understanding the Dark Web, spearphishing someone, and trying to access the NSA web portal are all ideas he wanted to be "grounded in reality."

"Many of the people who see this are security pros," he explains. "We want the story to be credible and stand the test of time."

Cobb also lists Blackhat as an interesting example of a security-focused film, also citing the reality of manipulating computer systems for financial gain. On the technical side, "quite a bit was accurate and not over-the-top" he says.

However, as in many tech-focused plotlines, there are dramatics. "Is computer security like Blackhat? Yes except there's less international travel and gun fights," Cobb notes.

(Image: Sergign via Shutterstock)

3 of 7
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
JulietteRizkallah
50%
50%
JulietteRizkallah,
User Rank: Ninja
4/26/2017 | 7:05:29 PM
Re: You missed one.
I agree!! The Millenium series has the best representation of the hacking techniques!  But maybe it was not included in this article as not initially created by Hollywood...
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
4/25/2017 | 1:30:29 PM
Sneakers, Hackers
It's been quite some time since I've seen Sneakers, but I definitely remember it as being among the less sensationalized and more "accurate" depictions of hacking.

Incidentally, I seem to recall the movie Hackers having some ridiculousness in it -- but it did offer one cool trick: That you can turn any (landline) phone into a rotary phone -- if, for some reason, dialing directly isn't a feasible or desirable option -- by simply tapping the hang-up clicker X number of times for each number.
SecretSquirrel96
50%
50%
SecretSquirrel96,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/24/2017 | 12:54:37 PM
Enemy of the State
Going to have to disagree on enemy of the State having anything realistic about it at all, let alone anything to do with Cyber Security. The only thing close to getting it right in that movie, was the fact the NSA exists.

Beyond that it was a typical Hollywood version of reality.

When you start of the movie with the murder of a politician by an NSA director, you lose all credibility in the realism category.

NSA doesn't, task or control imagery satelittes, nor are they re-tasked in real time or streaming live video, that's just completely ridiculous

 

 
ANON1248385514336
100%
0%
ANON1248385514336,
User Rank: Strategist
4/21/2017 | 11:29:49 AM
You missed one.

This article for me was kind of a "Duh" moment. There's no major epiphanies here. What about "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". For me, the brief glimpse of a SQL injection attack elevated the proficiency of the character way more than any portrayed hacker before that movie.

News
FluBot Malware's Rapid Spread May Soon Hit US Phones
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/28/2021
Slideshows
7 Modern-Day Cybersecurity Realities
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  4/30/2021
Commentary
How to Secure Employees' Home Wi-Fi Networks
Bert Kashyap, CEO and Co-Founder at SecureW2,  4/28/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-31755
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-07
An issue was discovered on Tenda AC11 devices with firmware through 02.03.01.104_CN. A stack buffer overflow vulnerability in /goform/setmac allows attackers to execute arbitrary code on the system via a crafted post request.
CVE-2021-31756
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-07
An issue was discovered on Tenda AC11 devices with firmware through 02.03.01.104_CN. A stack buffer overflow vulnerability in /gofrom/setwanType allows attackers to execute arbitrary code on the system via a crafted post request. This occurs when input vector controlled by malicious attack get copie...
CVE-2021-31757
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-07
An issue was discovered on Tenda AC11 devices with firmware through 02.03.01.104_CN. A stack buffer overflow vulnerability in /goform/setVLAN allows attackers to execute arbitrary code on the system via a crafted post request.
CVE-2021-31758
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-07
An issue was discovered on Tenda AC11 devices with firmware through 02.03.01.104_CN. A stack buffer overflow vulnerability in /goform/setportList allows attackers to execute arbitrary code on the system via a crafted post request.
CVE-2021-31458
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-07
This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected installations of Foxit Reader 10.1.1.37576. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file. The specific flaw exists within the handlin...