Hacking for a Living

Internet Hackers in 2017

First Documentary (2017)

Film Review

This documentary provides a general overview of black hat, white hat and gray hat hacking. A black hat hacker hacks into government and/or corporate IT systems for criminal or political gain. At the time of filming, black hats had worked out how to hack into and disrupt high speed trains, blast furnaces, computerized SUVs and baby monitors. A white hacker hacks into corporate IT systems and alerts them to potential security vulnerabilities in return for a “bounty.”*

The private security industry is a billion dollar industry. According to the filmmakers, the US Secret Service has primary responsibility for investigating cyber crimes that threaten the security of US “financial markets.” Meanwhile the US military trains up future soldiers in the art of cyberwarfare.

The last half of the film concerns the current culture of surveillance we presently live in. For the most part, citizens of the industrialized world have traded privacy for security and convenience. In addition to ubiquitous CCTV cameras in most urban centers, Smartphones track people wherever they go. Most users are aware that Google, Facebook and AT&T spy on them and collect (and sell) their personal data but don’t seem to care.

The documentary also raises the alarm regarding the extreme vulnerability of modern computerized infrastructure to both cyber attack and natural events, such as solar storms. Solar flares nearly shut down all computerized infrastructure in 2012, 2013 and 2014. One black hat hacker interviewed by filmmakers claims it would only take him an hour to bring down the whole Internet.


*Sounds to me like a garden variety protection racket. I hate to think what happens to companies who refuse to pay the bounty.

 

 

 

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