Hacking movies may romanticize the life of cybercriminals, but they are worth watching, nonetheless. Some portray the lives of crooks that would do anything to make a quick buck, while others focus on the activities of social justice warriors (or hacktivists as they are often referred to). The following movies titles are full of excitement and thrill:
1. Blackhat (2015)
Breaching a nuclear plant’s infrastructure never felt as amazing as the exploding intro Blackhat sets the stage with. As the name implies, the star of the show is one of the “bad guys”, the kind of hackers who exploit security vulnerabilities for monetary gain. At one point, we get to see a man in the middle attack in action, thanks to which the hacker was able to work around a system shutting down due to detecting abnormal behavior. Sure enough, it doesn’t take long before a Chinese officer gets on his trail. So, who will win – the hunter or the hunted?
2. Sneakers (1992)
This 90s classic explores the topic of controlling the flow of information and the power that comes with it. This one is surprisingly accurate from a technical perspective and features a duo of Robin Hood-like hackers whose motive is to gather funds for various causes. After one of them is busted, the other is tasked with a mission of having to recover a black box. To summarize, this is not only a realistic take on the act of hacking that also manages to pack in plenty of action-heavy sequences, but the movie also touches upon thought-provoking moral dilemmas.
3. War Games (1983)
What happens when a young computer hacker finds the way into a military computer? At the time, this was no ordinary device, but a technologically advanced gizmo called War Operation Plan Response with the capacity to predict the outcome of a nuclear war. To make matters worse, the main hero doesn’t have a clue what he’s caught himself into. Believing that the omnipotent device is nothing more than a war simulation game, he activates it, nearly starting the next World War. What could possibly go wrong?
4. Hackers (1995)
Hackers take a more lenient approach to the concept of hacking, almost to the point of viewing it through a satirical lens. The story follows a group of young hackers who just hack the wrong guy. And what do you know – it’s no one else but a dangerous criminal who has designed a virus that will ignite five oil tankers. Bear in mind, this is by no means a realistic depiction of hacking, but it sure is laugh-inducing. However, it is faithful to real-life cybersecurity concepts such as phreaking, malicious software, and social engineering.
5. The Matrix (1999)
Although not as laser-focused on the act of hacking per se, it does deal with the idea of living in a computer simulation and what this means for our society as a whole. Are we brainwashed into not being able to see what’s right in front of our noses so others can feast on our life energy? In other words, the reality that we perceive through open eyes might not be telling us the whole story. The main protagonist has been awakened to reality in its harshest form. Can he set others free and break them from the chains of this imprisoning illusion?
No, you won’t learn how to get into your neighbor’s computer by watching these – sorry! However, you will have fun and unforgettable experiences that’s both thought-provoking. All these movies make the perfect opportunity to sit down with your family or friends and have an amazing evening. But don’t be surprised if the story-line leaves you questioning the limits of reality!