This Friday, July 4, sees the Spanish premiere of Open Windows, Nacho Vigalondo’s latest film. This movie, starring Elijah Wood and Sasha Grey, tackles the issue of cyber-espionage and cyber-security and highlights the need for protection in our digital worlds.
Although hackers and IT security are not the most common storylines in the cinema, there have been a few, and you might be surprised to discover how far back these films go.
Here are just a few…
5 films about viruses and IT attacks
- War Games
This was one of the first films to deal with the issue. Released over 30 years ago in 1983, it shows a primitive Internet, with telephone modems and screens full of green command lines. The hacker in this case is played by Matthew Broderick.
- The Net
Sandra Bullock plays Angela, a computer analyst and expert in viruses and system bugs. Her life turns into a nightmare when she discovers an Internet program that allows users to access secret databases. From then on her life is in danger and all data connected to her is either deleted or manipulated.
The Net offers a clear picture of identity theft, an issue that is far more common now than it was in 1995 when the film was released.
- Operation Swordfish
Here we see Wolverine star, Hugh Jackman, as a famous hacker recently out of jail. Given his IT expertise, he’s enlisted to help a terrorist, played by John Travolta, decrypt a security code that protects a secret account.
Dade Murphy plays Zero Cool, a hacker who in 1988 single-handedly crashed 1507 systems on Wall Street. Having become a legend among hackers, the authorities banned him from having any contact with computers or phones until the age of 18.
Now, having reached 18 and moved to New York City, he has to face high school life, where he meets fellow hackers, including a young Angelina Jolie, who embark upon an IT adventure spurred by a corporate fraud that leads them into the sights of the FBI.
This is one of the oldest IT films (1982) and, perhaps because of its curious plot, has become a classic. In this film a hacker is digitised and transported inside a computer world in which a malicious program seeks to control his behavior
A sequel, Tron: Legacy, came out in 2010.
Phishing, identity theft, theft of private photos, smartphones and their security holes… Everyday more and more stories emerge about cyber-crime which could be the basis for any number of fictional plots…. Yet how many of them could match the intrigue and drama of what happens in the real world?