An insight of Hollywood: Writing movies for fun and profit (Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant, 2012)
(U = no restriction)
When Lex tries to take control of one of the computers in the command centre, we
get to contemplate how she skillfully navigates the system using a (laggy) 3D
file browser. Surprisingly, this is not just an eccentricity of some movie
writer, the program, called
fsn, actually existed by the time the movie was
written. See Wikipedia/Fsn.
An open source and “modern” clone called fsv has been developed, if you’d feel like playing Lex with your computer.
“It’s a UNIX system! I know this!” – Lex Murphy
There is a famous urban legend around M. Zuckerberg who purportedly “hacked” its campus network while being intoxicated. The myth of the genius struck us one more time. While some dark arcane of hackerism spread through the collective mind, the movie shows a much more realistic version of the petty offense:
wgetis a popular command-line network downloader. It is ideal to write scripts for batch downloads.
Despite the lack of details, all the steps happen to be mundane tasks related to automated network queries.
The scene is appreciable in its realism about hackerism and helps debunking the myths around such performances.
The movie shows a (surprisingly) witty use of computers.
Around the beginning of the movie, during the meeting with all the executives, we get a short glimpse at one terminal running an Eshell session, the Elisp shell of Emacs. Most certainly the top of the world in Geekland…
One subliminal frame in the same scene shows a session of Tetris run from Emacs,
while the command
hanoi-unix was just entered…
When the main character first discovers the secret room with the terminal, his first reflex is to type the following meaningful commands:
$ whoami flynn
If you’d be given a computer that has been kept running for years, you’d like to know who was using it last. This is what he is checking.
$ uname -a SolarOS 4.0.1 Generic_50203-02 sun4m i386 Unknown.Unknown
uname is a universal command for showing the type of system the machine is
running. It appropriately shows the OS name (a cross-over between SunOS and
Solaris?), the version, the kernel (Generic…), the machine hardware name
(i386, a popular architecture by Intel), and possibly the “Unknown” hostname
(which unveils the latent mystery around the machine!).
$ login -n root Login incorrect login: backdoor No home directory specified in password file! Logging in with home=/
Now this gets a little more creative: login with the
backdoor name is a very naive
method to hack your way toward full-privileged access to a computer!
# bin/history ...
history is usually a command embedded in the shell, but nevermind… It would
have been much more sensible to run the
history command when logged as
flynn, and not as
It shows the list of the last commands that were typed. Again, it totally makes sense to do so if you want to investigate how a computer was used the last time.
Among the various history entries, we can recognize the compilation of some program, the editing of the last will, some system status checks and finally the execution of the Grid simulator (last command), which projects our hero to a virtual world.
See official website for an impressive list of movies where Nmap gets to be a rock star!