With the nights long and dark, what better way to spend an evening than huddled up in the warm with a good cyber crime movie, maybe wondering what the world would be like if it were real? Thriller, sci-fi, action, horror, espionage: the cyber threat has touched seemingly every cinematic genre, just as it’s become an increasingly big fact of life. Here’s our selection of cyber crime movies to get you through the next week.
While searching for video games, an adolescent Matthew Broderick inadvertently hacks into a military supercomputer, activating the US’s nuclear arsenal…and bringing the world to within a whisker of World War 3. Over three decades on, the message remains just as relevant: watch out what the kids are doing online.
Quote: David Lightman: Is it a game...or is it real?
Joshua: What's the difference?
Likelihood rating: You never know (remember Stuxnet, anyone?)
Die Hard 4.0
When high-tech terrorists take control of America’s technological infrastructure and hold the country to ransom, it’s up to everyone’s favourite rogue cop, John McClane, to team up with an ace hacker to save the day. Cue the barrage of one-liners and increasingly insane set-pieces (a juggernaut racing a Harrier Jump Jet on a collapsing flyover) and you’ve got yourself an old-fashioned action flick with a contemporary flavour.
Quote: Matt Farrell: You just killed a helicopter with a car!
John McClane: I was out of bullets.
Likelihood rating: More than you think.
When a group of chatroom buddies start receiving mysterious messages from a dead friend’s account, they write it off first as a simple glitch, then as a hacker. But when they start being gruesomely murdered, the group are forced to confront the part they each played in her untimely demise.
Quote: Blaire Lily: Please, Laura we are not bad people...we are good people.
Laura Barns: Really? Are you sure about that?
Likelihood rating: While cyber bullying is very much an unwelcome reality, you don’t often encounter the vengeful supernatural manifestations of former victims online.
Cyber criminal Keanu Reeves discovers that the reality we know is actually a computer simulation used by a race of super-advanced robots to enslave mankind. With a handful of other escapees, a load of guns and an unnecessary amount of leather, he sets about releasing humanity from its sleepy shackles.
Quote: Morpheus: What is real? How do you define ‘real?’ If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by the brain.
Likelihood rating: Low (not that you’d be able to tell the difference.)
After a hard drive containing the details of undercover agents is stolen, MI6 comes under full-blown cyber attack – shortly before its headquarters are blown up. Bearing the weight of an alarmingly brooding backstory, James Bond duly sets out to track down the perpetrator, facing off against a creepy former MI6 agent-turned-cyber terrorist with a personal agenda.
Quote: Raoul Silva: Destabilise a multinational by manipulating stocks. Easy. Interrupt transmissions from a spy satellite over Kabul. Done. Rig an election in Uganda. All to the highest bidder.
James Bond: Or a gas explosion in London.
Likelihood rating: It’s hard to imagine a betrayed former employee putting so much effort into their revenge when they can just post a negative comment on Glassdoor.
Enemy of the State
Mild-mannered father Will Smith stumbles across video footage of a congressman being assassinated, at the order of a corrupt National Security Agency official who wants to pass controversial surveillance legislation. Subsequently framed for murder, Will forms his most crucial collaboration since Jazzy Jeff – in the form of an ex-intelligence agent – and sets about proving his innocence.
Quote: Edward Lyle: The government's been in bed with the entire telecommunications industry since the forties. They've infected everything. They get into your bank statements, computer files, email, listen to your phone calls... Every wire, every airwave. The more technology used, the easier it is for them to keep tabs on you. It's a brave new world out there. At least it'd better be.
Likelihood rating: Pretty high (News of the World, WikiLeaks.)
A sadistic cyber serial killer posts live feeds of his murders online – and the more hits he gets, the faster they die. It’s up to an elite cybercrime division of the FBI to track him down before the entire country starts watching, sending his site stats – and victim count – through the roof.
Quote: Owen Reilly: [Watching his victim in a tub filling up with acid] You know if no one was watching right now, you'd just be sitting in water. But the whole world wants to watch you die, and they don't even know you.
Likelihood rating: Very
If you’re looking to hire the right cyber security professionals to avoid these scenarios or you’re looking for a cyber security job where you can save the day on a regular basis, contact us now.
Author: Josh Keeley