Comment Free For All: Hacking in the Movies

Comment Free For AllI once watched an episode of Law & Order with a friend who is an attorney. From the moment the action switched from the police to the prosecutors, he was tied up in knots, shouting at the screen all the inaccuracies in the way the courtroom proceedings were portrayed.

I feel the same way about hacking and computer security in the movies.  In 1983’s “WarGames“, the US nuclear command is apparently connected to a modem anyone can dial.  In 1996’s “Independence Day“, an Apple laptop is used to upload a virus to an alien computer system (quite an engineering feat on the fly!).  And there’s a long litany of other movies where it’s not even possible to tell what the “hackers” are doing because the screen is filled with impossible jargon and pretty (but unrealistic) animation.

They’re not all bad.  For example, 1983’s “Superman III,” while an awful movie, did reuse a famous bit of hackery, where a programmer siphoned all rounded fractional cents to a central account he then withdrew.  And while the “Matrix Reloaded” (2003) was also awful, Trinity uses nmap and the screen references the real-world SSH CRC-32 vulnerability.

So up for discussion: what movie do you think portrays hacking most accurately…and which is the worst?

Please let us know in the comments below.  Don’t forget to tell us why – we’ll be posting a summary of the most interesting comments in a future post!


I’m Andrew, techno polymath and long-time LowEndTalk community Moderator. My technical interests include all things Unix, perl, python, shell scripting, and relational database systems. I enjoy writing technical articles here on LowEndBox to help people get more out of their VPSes.

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How do I find the correct IP address due to potential hacking

I am now using my government phone unfortunately and it is not secure. My ex-boyfriend had the same phone number previously with a different phone. I guess with these phones, they keep the same phone number you created with the original account for every new phone given (2 years ago created the account). I reported the phone lost/stolen due to him taking without permission when we split. I received a new phone with his old number months later. I need to figure out what my IP address is particularly for this new phone. Just in case he has access somehow to the old phone number. Curious does he now have access to my new email which was created on the new phone, inadvertently not knowing it was his old number. He is a hacker. He keeps showing his ugly presence. I already caught him placing a $1200 order on my old sprint account with my sons old phone that had access to the sprint app. I already got robbed numerous times by someone on cash app through his old phone number.
I realized after creating an account for this issue that this wasn’t the correct site. Sorry guys. Looks like I have a lot to learn.

privacy – What’s the best way to protect my rooted Android 7 from malware and hacking?

Considering I have to use cellular data and being not connected to the internet is not an option, what measures can I take or tools I can use to keep myself protected from prying eyes?

My first step will be to do a clean rom flash in case I’m infected already, but as soon as I do that, I’d like to ensure that I remain clean and protected because I would be using my phone for very private data. What can I do? Besides the obvious and common sense stuff of course.

Android 7 | Rooted | Moto C Plus

Windows Server 2019 hacking case

A strange case occurred recently on our Windows Server 2019.

It runs some Hyper-V VMs,
Apache+PHP7 via mod_fcgid (as a service logged in as a restricted user www),
Nginx (as a service logged in as a restricted user www-front),
A nodejs server and stunnel (which was working as local system, it’s obviously a mistake, now corrected)

So the firewall was on with only necessary ports open to public.

One day I noticed that an extra Administrator account named ht was added and security log cleared.

From what I can tell from logs, it all started with a request to the file on an old legacy website. The whole site was ionCube encoded, except this file:

$current_memory = ini_get('memory_limit');
$current_memory = preg_replace('/D/', '', $current_memory);
if ($current_memory <= '512') { ini_set('memory_limit','1024M'); }



Then, somehow this file was appended with code that saves uploaded file, though www user has no write permissions on this directory altogether. I even tried to append something myself as www and got “Access Denied”, as expected.

Something even more weird happens, local system disables the firewall

A Windows Defender Firewall setting in the Public profile has changed.
New Setting:
Type:   Enable Windows Defender Firewall
Value:  No
Modifying User: SYSTEM
Modifying Application:  C:WindowsSystem32netsh.exe

A new user gets created and added to admins group.
That user connects via RDP which is now available as the Firewall is down, makes a web shell under that website root directory (which was not writeable for the www user), makes a couple of requests to it, then does nothing more.

So the question is, how did he manage to do things using the Local System account? Could it be a vulnerability in stunnel? Any similar cases known?

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  1. Ziplack


    Dec 9, 2014
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  2. jasmine
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    thanks for help man


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android – How should I configure my firewall using iptables commands to defend against hacking?

I need to add extra security to my Android device using iptables and a firewall to defend against hackers. My specific goals are to prevent a hacker from remotely breaking into my device to begin with and, in the event spyware is remotely placed on my device, my data/activity cannot be uploaded to whatever command center the hacker controls. Which commands should I use for maximum hacking defense? So far I only know about closing all ports except 80 and 443. I also need to know how to block all ports except those two, both incoming and outgoing, without preventing myself from browsing the web and other basics.

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