[Article]-Survey of Hacking Movies: Framing the Debate on the Gateway Drug into the Hacking Culture

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    • #7623
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      So if you read our newsletter, you’ve heard that this was coming for a while. It’s now all set to go, and I’m excited to have this conversation with the hacking community at large. Read the article, answer the survey and add your thoughts here in this thread.

      We hope that it will spawn several articles and discussions. So let’s get to it!!

      Permanent link: [Article]-Survey of Hacking Movies: Framing the Debate on the Gateway Drug into the Hacking Culture

      [align=center:1vybevg8][/align:1vybevg8]

      By Rick Howard and Steve Winterfield

      As Steve and I were eating dinner at DEFCON last year, the usual topics came up: What were the best talks of the day? Who were the completely lame speakers? What was the best hacker outfit so far? What is the best T-Shirt slogan of the day? What parties are we going to crash tonight? What were the best hacker books (both fiction and non-fiction)? And of course, we debated about which hacker movie is the best of all time. Steve and I have been arguing for years about this one, and, although we never agree, it does not stop us from spending hours rehashing the subject. And we are not alone in this endeavor. This is a favorite subject for hackers of all sorts.  It turns out that there are so many ways to look at the question, that I am sure that Steve and I, and all nerds, will continue to ponder it for years to come.

      Many hackers have a movie that is near and dear to their heart; a gateway drug so to speak that introduced the idea that hacking was a “thing” that loner losers like us could do it,  was cool and could make hot chicks like us. That last part never really came true for me or Steve or anybody we hung out with, but it gave us hope.

      What gives you hope? What inspired you? What was your gateway drug in the hacking culture? Please help our research efforts by reading the rest of this article and then taking part in the Best Hacker Movies Survey

      Don

    • #47604
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      For the best results, we need as much data as possible. So please help us spread the word by blogging, tweeting, digging or any other means.

      For those following us on Twitter @ethicalhacker, help with either a RT a simply a tweet of the survey link:

      Survey of #Hacking #Movies http://svy.mk/Mpgvvg Let your opinion be heard.

      digg this article here:

      http://digg.com/news/entertainment/survey_of_hacking_movies_framing_the_debate_on_the_gateway_drug_into_the_hacking_culture

      Thanks,
      Don

    • #47605
      jason
      Participant

      I’m surprised at some that didn’t get a mention in the article: Enemy of the State, Swordfish, The Net  :-X. This should be interesting to see the results of…

    • #47606
      Don Donzal
      Keymaster

      Loved Enemy of the State. But considering the discussion is on what movie was like your first hit that got you hooked, then it can’t be this one. I’m too old.

      For me it was WarGames. Tron was cool and got my imagination going, but it was WarGames that really struck a chord with me. At the time I was in middle school and already playing with computers.

      As most of us do now, if we hear of a movie coming out about hacking, we get excited and can’t wait to go see it. WarGames was the first hacking movie that I couldn’t wait to go see, and it didn’t disappoint.

      Then it was Sneakers. Considering it came out in 1992, and I was just above drinking age, this really got me into thinking that I could actually “play with computers” for a living. So although it was not the movie that I would consider my gateway drug into the hacking culture, it definitely was my gateway drug into professional security.

      By the time Hackers came out, I was already working in the field as a systems guy handling the phone and computer networks for a psych hospital. So I thought, not only is this about a bunch of lame high schoolers, but I also thought the tone of the entire movie was pretty cheesy.

      That should be enough for now to hopefully spark some more conversations.

      Who’s up next?

      Don

      PS – On a side note, I brought out the old movies mentioned in this article. I told my almost 8 year old son about the article and that I wanted his opinion of WarGames. He told me that he wasn’t that much into hacking (WHAT!?!?!) and that his goal was to invent something and get his first patent (OK… I can live with that). I put on my sad face, and he agreed to watch it for Daddy’s sake. In the end, he said, “OK, that was pretty good.”

    • #47607
      jason
      Participant

      It was definitely Sneakers for me. I think Wargames was a great movie also (although whoever dreamed up Wargames 2 should be soundly beaten), but I didn’t connect with it in the same way that I did with Sneakers. I’m really surprised that nobody has done a reboot of it yet. Maybe we could get Michael Bay in there…

    • #47608
      hayabusa
      Participant

      @don wrote:

      PS – On a side note, I brought out the old movies mentioned in this article. I told my almost 8 year old son about the article and that I wanted his opinion of WarGames. He told me that he wasn’t that much into hacking (WHAT!?!?!) and that his goal was to invent something and get his first patent (OK… I can live with that). I put on my sad face, and he agreed to watch it for Daddy’s sake. In the end, he said, “OK, that was pretty good.”

      Hey, inventing and patents are, in their own way, hacking, so I’ll give him props.

      In the meantime, Wargames and Tron got my inner geek going, back in the day.  Didn’t really watch too many movies as a kid,for many reasons, but I clearly remember those.

      And, to second jason’s comment, Wargames 2 was horrible…  :-X

      Edit:  Speaking of Tron, I’ve not seen the new one yet…  Is it any good (for those who HAVE seen it)?

    • #47609
      jason
      Participant

      List from a quick search for hacker books:

      http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/hacker

      I’d personally like to see Programming Perl made into an action-adventure flick. The cost for sets and wardrobe would be cheap  ;D

    • #47610
      unicityd
      Participant

      @jason wrote:

      I’d personally like to see Programming Perl made into an action-adventure flick. The cost for sets and wardrobe would be cheap  ;D

      I’d just hope it was a faithful adaptation.

    • #47611
      WCNA
      Participant

      For me it was WarGames.

      Ditto

    • #47612
      SephStorm
      Participant

      I’m going to go against the grain on this one. If I remember correctly, Hackers was the first hacker movie I saw and it holds a special place in my heart. I dont get the hate that everyone has for this movie. yeah the scenes of the mobos are kind of cheesy, but I wanted nothing more than to have a computer that had an awesome moving logo on it, or to move to new york and learn how to hack from “elite” hackers. I still do. Although I dont know about new york. maybe find some analyst from an agency that doesnt exist…

      Also, im glad that takedown/track down ended up on the survey, but surprisingly not on the list. I’m aware of how some feel about the film, but I didnt see anything wrong with it. I think it portrayed mitnick as the traditional hacker we used to hear about, who does it for fun, and the challenge. And he owned simu’s a**

    • #47613
      maddy
      Participant

      Also i would like to add “Hackers”;Die hard 4 & Italian Job (role of napster)to some extent.

    • #47614
      JTD121
      Participant

      I agree that Hackers, while not a ‘good’ movie, was my gateway movie to hacking.

      Not that I’ve done a lot, to anything other than my own systems, but it got me interested, and I still am very interested. Mostly in something super-challenging and rewarding like PenTesting. I owe it all to Hackers.

      But, watching it now, in 2012, a lot of things in the movie don’t make sense, or are super-antiquated by todays’ standards, so unless you’ve seen it before, it’s probably not a good idea to introduce someone to ‘hacking’ with the movie.

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