An Open Letter to Hollywood Writers

Dear Hollywood,

Please stop making cyber crime story lines, you have no clue what you are talking about and to anyone with half a brain it makes it hard to watch. I work in IT, not InfoTech or the Cyber team, seriously who comes up with this? Do you hire consultants, if so are they IT consultants or does their business card read InfoTech? I watch prime time tv with my wife and recently I have noticed an uptick in the number of “hackers” in your story lines. Here’s the thing I have found myself yelling at the TV so I feel the need to write this open letter.

So you are aware, “hacking” isn’t running a -t on an ping, neither is running a proper post mortem diagnostic. Graphics and screen savers do not actually depict an algorithm running, nor a brute force password attack. The majority of hacking is done with social engineering and phishing.  When you use terms like “trace the IP” when the “hacker” is on a coffee shop wifi, you are basically saying you are going to find the IP from that wifi, not tracing the hacker back to his house.  Using an anonymizer on a laptop doesn’t prevent the authorities from finding the source IP of the ISP, you can catch someone with an onion router inside your network by having a solid firewall and intrusion protection and intrusion detection systems.

Most secure environments tap all in-bound traffic, and monitor all out-bound traffic. Really secure environments have constant scans for rogue wireless networks and devices and can narrow down to the person with the cell phone in their pocket in minutes. IRC is not “the deep web”, or “the dark web” or whatever you are trying to call it. Thousands of people use IRC it’s pretty standard actually.

“Enhance” I swear to all that is holy, when they say that while looking at a digital image on any detective show and then can magically zoom in and clean up an individual pixel to show a reflection. That’s something they did in Bladerunner to show what the future would be like on floppies and a kodak printer with voice control, but it’s not reality.

All I can hope is that this reddit thread, where a guy claims he is a TV writer and just puts this techno-babble nonsense into shows as a joke is real. Otherwise I need to just stop watching the second the term “we’ve been hacked” gets uttered for my own sanity.


The Actual IT Community
Since these folks won’t actually respond what are your favorite, worse hacker shows or movies? In terms of pure bad mine are The Net, Hackers, and any CSI show. Oh and Scorpion that show is beyond stupid.