How-To Geek

Hacking in the Movies Vs. Real Life

We need to hack into that system? Let’s just interface with the prompt in the data stack on the mainframe so we can discrypt it.

SMBC [via Geeks Are Sexy]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/5/12

Comments (12)

  1. Jeremy

    Bwahaha!!! It’s so true.

  2. Citrus Rain

    I don’t really consider it hacking, but the majority thinks it is.

    Even got into an argument with my brother over wether our cousin’s facebook was hacked, or if someone managed to get his password.

  3. Michael

    This is NOT hacking. This is Social Engineering. There IS a difference.

  4. Tom

    don’t forget speed-typing, the hacker’s trademark in movies ;)

  5. Jeremy

    Social engineering is a sub process of hacking. If you think that all hacking is DDoS and brute force you’re seriously mistaken. The greatest hackers in history used social engineering more than any other process to get into systems. Watch Takedown some time, it’s about Kevin Mitnick.

  6. Stephen

    “Backdoor handshake” sounds vaguely obscene :)

  7. Adam Thompson

    To those who say that Social Engineering is not Hacking… social engineering IS an integral part of hacking. In fact, most security breaches aren’t the result of someone writing a piece of assembly to exploit a memory corruption error in a piece of software, but rather a result of social engineering.

  8. Dark Reality

    Don’t forget that in the movies, they always use Macs. They’re stupidly expensive for a reason; they must be good for hacking. *nods*

  9. N0F3AR

    Check out “Ghost in the Wires” by Kevin Mitnick—it gives an autobiographical account of his evolution to becoming the 31 hacker, using social engineering and traditional hacking. The passage about getting the Motorola source code is especially entertaining.

  10. tim


  11. lizbit

    Love it, I live in Africa (South Africa) we are so behind the times here, so when I watch NCIS all I can do is spit out my coffee with boundless laughter.

  12. Stuwardo


    1) Takedown is a movie, hense “movie hacking”
    2) The movie Takedown is full of overexaggerated, half truths and plain lies formed around the myth of Kevin Mitnick. The movie was shit too.

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