Hacking on Film and TV

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Hacking on Film and TV

Post by WrittenMind on Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:38 am
([msg=65101]see Hacking on Film and TV[/msg])

Hi, I thought I'd post this on here and see if I could get some help. I'm currently trying to write a bible and pilot on spec for a TV show I want to create. It will involve a fictional criminal organization and undoubtedly at some point hacking and hackers will become involved. When it comes to hacking I usually take a lot of what I see on TV and in Film with a large pinch of salt.

So, my questions are as follows:

1. Are there any TV shows or films that are very close to what is involved in real hacking from a technical aspect?
2. Is there any kind of glossary of hacker/hacking terms that I can use without it becoming or sounding too clichéd?
3. How much of what we see on TV and Film with regards to hacking is possible? For example, films like Mission Impossible III, Die Hard 4.0, Swordfish etc allow the characters to be able to do an awful lot from their computers. Are things such as hacking into banks possible? If so would one person be able to do so or would it require a team and lots of planning?

Once I get to what it is my fictional hackers will be doing I will post what it is I want them to be capable of and if it is possible I may need some help on writing the technical part of it since I have absolutely no idea where to start when it comes to hacking.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Hacking on Film and TV

Post by tremor77 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:12 am
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To reply:

1. Absolutely none. Just the shear amount of time it takes to perform the simplest of hacks do not relate well to the time constrained formats of media.
2. The glossary of terms is right here on this website. Review some of the technical articles.
3. Mission Impossible, Die Hard, etc.. forget you ever saw any of them. The Goth Chic from the TV Show NCIS occasionally does a few realistic things. I stress occasionally. What they did in "The Italian Job" is doable, messing with traffic signals and getting traffic camera video feeds.

Actual criminal, for profit hacking is more along the lines of: Identity theft, Credit Card theft (cc info trades at pennies or less per card # and is usually only sold in bulk), Fraudelent goods and services, various scams and phishing attempts (fake paypal login sites).. for the most part - criminal hacking activity is aimed at individuals, less computer literate types and ripping them off.

There are cases in some countries where criminal organizations use DDoS as a blackmail threat, basically modern version of sending a few thugs to your store and burning a photo of it, then saying you need protection. Pay up or DDoS!

Criminals don't want to get caught, they want to make money. So they don't do the stupid shit. Hacks against banks, corporations and governments are either done by other governments (the "chackers") or by hacktivists looking to make a socio-political statement, or by a small handful of ego driven hackers who want to make their bones and be considered elite and get famous.
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Re: Hacking on Film and TV

Post by goluhaque on Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:45 am
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If so would one person be able to do so or would it require a team and lots of planning?


Lots of planning? Yup. Lots. The one shown on films like Die Hard 4.0 would definitely take lots. Much more than is shown.
(23:45:03) hauk: I guess you are over the best part of your life when 4-year-olds say "Are you an evil man?"
(23:46:19) hauk: and "Ima punch you in the pecker"
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Re: Hacking on Film and TV

Post by WrittenMind on Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:47 am
([msg=65104]see Re: Hacking on Film and TV[/msg])

Thanks for the reply, it's helped quite a bit.

In terms of time, how long, realistically, would certain hacks take? Say for example I had my characters steal the credit card numbers of 100 people from an online shopping website and plan to blackmail the website to stop the release of this information (I read about this happening in 2000 when someone did it to CD Universe. I liked the idea of this as a story). Reading something like this makes me think it would take quite a while to do and possibly involve more than one person.

Also in film and TV it seems that people are capable of hiding vast sums of money in bank accounts or transferring it without raising suspicion while using, what seem to be, exaggerated hacking programs/techniques. In real life I assume this would be rather difficult for someone to do without a lot of help. Is there any truth behind how easily people stop money being tracked and hidden around the world?

I'm trying to write this as realistically as possible and have the operations that hackers undertake to be related to the areas you mentioned. Also, when one government attacks another what is it they are attacking? Is it a war for information? How do they defend against it and how do the people attacking it actually attempt and go about it?

Sorry, I seem to have a lot of questions about these topics.
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Re: Hacking on Film and TV

Post by tremor77 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:38 am
([msg=65115]see Re: Hacking on Film and TV[/msg])

A few hundred credit card numbers is maybe worth $5-$10. Getting CC numbers is like getting sand in the desert. At any time on various channels you can find offers for 10's of thousands of them. Contrary to popular belief in the media, most stolen CC's on the market are not actually 'stolen' but given by unsuspecting nubcakeses, when they think they need to pay for Windows Defender 2011 to help protect them from the "Your're computer may be infected screen." Other's come direct from employee handlers of large amounts of online store data... 'leaks' if you will.

A good thing to remember involving hacking is to know how much is actual technical hacking but, there is also a great degree of social engineering and inside work. Take a look at the recent Microsoft RDP Exploit that was released.. when code embedded in a pentesters proof of concept showed up on a chinese hacking website, almost invariable points to a security leak RIGHT WITHIN MICROSOFT! Now THAT is some sweet story line.

A Criminal hacking organization is going to likely place their people in real & important jobs where they can mine data and steal secrets.. that's where the real money is. Corporate secret data.. government data.. etc.. here read this article about the very issue i Just mentioned.

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/security-threats/2012/03/19/microsoft-investigates-rdp-exploit-security-leak-40095294/
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