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Don't Copy Matrix Hacking, Warns Computer Society

from the calm-down... dept

Last week, plenty of attention was paid to the fact that in the (extraordinarily brief) scene in the new Matrix movie where the character Trinity is seen hacking a system, she is using actual hacking tools that are popular today. Most of the people talking about the story (and it got picked up by plenty of blogs) focused on how nice it was to see Hollywood actually pay attention to reality in the computing world for once. Now, however, comes the backlash. The British Computer Society is apparently worried that this snippet will encourage people to try to do similar hacks on their own and have put out a statement warning people not to copy the Matrix hacking scene, saying you might end up in jail. Come on! You know what? You probably shouldn’t copy the fight scene in the park or the leaping through the window stuff, because you might end up dead.

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Comments on “Don't Copy Matrix Hacking, Warns Computer Society”

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itchyfish says:

You'd like to think that

You’d like to think that people would be intelligent enough not to repeat fantastic events seen on TV and in the movies. Alas, it’s just no so. Johnny Knoxville got sued by some teens who barbecued themselves in trying to repeat his stunt. I absolutely guarantee plenty of morons will try this hack.

LittleW0lf says:

Threats and Vulnerabilities and Exploits, Oh My

It never seems to amaze me how stupid some of these computer societies (or any other technical society) can be…warning the world not to do something is sure to cause more people to do it. Especially when computer crime is one of the least prosecuted crimes, it seems like prosecutors have to throw the book at folks to make an example of them, because they are likely not to throw the book at everyone.

The funny thing about their advice, and most folks advice in this manner, is that running the sshd exploit is not always illegal. In a matter of fact, I’ve run the sshd exploit numerous times, and have never once had to worry about the feds cracking through my door. I run the exploit against my own hardware, my own operating systems, on a non-Internet connected network run by me using my own hardware. This, along with many other exploits I am testing out in order to figure out ways to securely run services and defeat attacks.

Furthermore, advice like this actually stands to harm administrators, who don’t realize that they can use “safe” exploits to test their systems for vulnerabilities. I hear folks all the time saying they would never run exploits against their own machines to test security, yet my real servers have never been exploited, and their’s have, likely because they haven’t taken the time to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it like I have. Yet folks still point to what I do as being either illegal (it isn’t) or unethical (how?).

No, you shouldn’t run these exploits against systems you do not have a legitimate reason for attacking, but this blanket “do not hack” attitude has to stop for the benefit of society.

anon says:

Re: Re: Re:2 How could she use that vulnerability

The version of NMap that Trinity used and the ssh exploit were both released on 2001.
The first Matrix movie was set up in 1999 and in Reloaded, Morpheus says that in the last six months (since Neo joined them) they have freed many more minds than before. So reloaded is set up at best in mid 2000.
How could trinity use a nonexistent tool with an unknown vulnerability?
OK, maybe trinity is the best cracker of them-all (according to the first movie she is one of the best) and she knew the SSH v1 vulnerability and she developed the sshnuke program herself, but how could she use Nmap 2.54 beta?

MonkeyC says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Uhm,

Keep in mind, that it is only 2000 within the Matrix. The hacking tools are brought into the Matrix with them. So she brought tools applicable to the current technology back then, despite the fact that, within the program, they had not been created yet.

Just like how they are flying around in a hover-craft, even though they have not been invented yet.

Nuff said.

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