Careers & People

2/28/2018
02:30 PM
Steve Zurier
Steve Zurier
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Hacking on TV: 8 Binge-Worthy and Cringe-Worthy Examples

From the psycho-drama Mr. Robot to portraying the outright dangers of ransomware taking down a hospital in Grey's Anatomy, hacking themes now run deep in today's TV shows.
Previous
1 of 9
Next

Image Source: Shutterstock via stock_photo_world

Image Source: Shutterstock via stock_photo_world

Hackers and inside stories about hacking have made their way into popular culture in a big way.

There’s still nothing that quite tops USA Network’s Mr. Robot for its sheer ability to drill down into the details of how hackers think and operate. The series' protagonist and anti-hero, Eliot Alderson, played by Rami Malek, is a self-described hacker and computer tech complete with a drug problem and social anxiety and chronic depression disorders. While Malek’s character is clearly a bit of a stereotype, some viewers are forgiving.

"By far, Mr. Robot is the most accurate in the way it portrays the methods of hackers," says Jason Haddix, vice president of trust and security at Bugcrowd. "In most shows, the longest time to exploit you'll see is about 30 seconds. It's never that simple. Our work can take hours and days to do enough reconnaissance to find a flaw."  

Stu Sjouwerman, founder and CEO of KnowBe4, says shows such as NCIS and its spin-offs NCIS Los Angeles and NCIS New Orleans tend to be "quick and dirty" and don’t really give viewers a sense of how hacking is quite tedious.

"Hacking is a methodical and tedious exercise, but once you get there it's like, 'whoa,'" Sjouwerman says.

The sense of excitement and danger that surrounds hacking makes for good television. Hackers took over Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital earlier this year during multiple episodes of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and despite all the subplots that included domestic abuse themes and a transgender hacker who saves the day, the episode gave a reasonable depiction of how disruptive and dangerous it would be for a hospital to be held up for a $20 million ransom. 

Other TV shows this year, from Bull on CBS to Showtime’s Homeland offered up hacker plots and subplots. And HBO plans to launch Hackerville this fall, a new series based in Europe.

In putting together this slideshow, we drew from today’s popular shows to many of the popular techie shows of the past, like Person of Interest, CSI Cyber and Numb3rs. If you haven’t seen some of these shows, click on the links to trailers and episode clips to catch up and do some binge watching of your own. 

 

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 9
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Higher Education: 15 Books to Help Cybersecurity Pros Be Better
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  12/12/2018
'PowerSnitch' Hacks Androids via Power Banks
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/8/2018
Worst Password Blunders of 2018 Hit Organizations East and West
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  12/12/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: So now we are monitoring the monitor?
Current Issue
10 Best Practices That Could Reshape Your IT Security Department
This Dark Reading Tech Digest, explores ten best practices that could reshape IT security departments.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-20145
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-13
Eclipse Mosquitto 1.5.x before 1.5.5 allows ACL bypass: if the option per_listener_settings was set to true, and the default listener was in use, and the default listener specified an acl_file, then the acl file was being ignored.
CVE-2018-12076
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-13
A vulnerability in the UPC bar code of the Avanti Markets MarketCard could allow an unauthenticated, local attacker to access funds within the customer's MarketCard balance, and also could lead to Customer Information Disclosure. The vulnerability is due to lack of proper validation of the UPC bar c...
CVE-2018-18922
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-13
add_user in AbiSoft Ticketly 1.0 allows remote attackers to create administrator accounts via an action/add_user.php POST request.
CVE-2018-18923
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-13
AbiSoft Ticketly 1.0 is affected by multiple SQL Injection vulnerabilities through the parameters name, category_id and description in action/addproject.php; kind_id, priority_id, project_id, status_id and title in action/addticket.php; and kind_id and status_id in reports.php.
CVE-2018-19039
PUBLISHED: 2018-12-13
Grafana before 4.6.5 and 5.x before 5.3.3 allows remote authenticated users to read arbitrary files by leveraging Editor or Admin permissions.