What Hacking Looked Like in the “Hackers” #SciFiSunday « Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Movies about writers don’t usually depict very much writing. As you know, watching a person write is pretty boring. The same is true for hackers. So whenever a movie tries to show someone hacking, they need to embellish pretty severely, so that hacking looks like a cross between William Gibson’s descriptions of cyberspace and something the Lawnmower Man might get into. Here’s a breakdown of what hacking looked like in the 1995 movie Hackers.

As hackers they don’t have a corporate budget, so use a variety of personal computers rather than the expensive SGI workstations we saw in the previous films. And since it’s the 1990s, their network connections are made with modems over the analog phone system and important files will fit on 1.44 megabyte floppy disks.

The Gibson, though, is described as “big iron”, a corporate supercomputer. Again this was the 1990s when a supercomputer would be a single very big and very expensive computer, not thousands of PC CPUs and GPUs jammed into racks as in the early 21st C. A befitting such an advanced piece of technology it has a three dimensional file browsing interface which is on display both times the Gibson is hacked.

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