“Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man’s quest for perfect communications. Here he was, far out in space, speeding away from Earth at thousands of miles an hour, yet in a few milliseconds he could see the headlines of any newspaper he pleased. (That very word “newspaper,” of course, was an anachronistic hangover into the age of electronics.)”
– Arthur C. Clarke, in Chapter 9 of his 1968 novel, “2001 A Space Odyssey”
Hollywood has decided that Nmap is the tool to show whenever hacking scenes are needed. I guess they finally learned it was better to show a real world tool rather than the silly winky-blinky lights of past sci-fi.
The Matrix Reloaded turned Nmap into a movie star! Trinity used it in The Matrix Reloaded. Needing to hack the city power grid, she whips out Nmap version 2.54BETA25, uses it to find a vulnerable SSH server, and then proceeds to exploit it using the SSH1 CRC32 exploit from 2001. Shame on the city for being vulnerable!
In the vast, post-apocalyptic metropolis of Mega City One, the only law is provided by the Judges of the Hall of Justice—cops with the power of judge, jury and executioner. Most feared among these law-keepers is the ruthless and implacable Judge Dredd. Judge Dredd and Cadet Judge Cassandra Anderson infiltrate a notorious high-rise slum tower controlled by former prostitute-turned-drug-lord Ma-Ma For network reconnaissance and exploitation of the slum tower network, they turn to Nmap. This trailer briefly shows it at 1:32-1:33.
In The Bourne Ultimatum, the CIA needs to hack the mail server of a newspaper (The Guardian UK) to read the email of a reporter they assassinated. So they turn to Nmap and its new official GUI Zenmap to hack the mail server. Nmap reports that the mail server is running SSH 3.9p1, Posfix smtpd, and a name server (presumably bind). They also make substantial use of Bash, the Bourne-again shell.
In Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard, Detective John McClane is dispatched to retrieve hacker Matthew Farrell because the FBI suspects him of breaching their computer systems. Later, Farrell is enlisted to help thwart terrorist mastermind Thomas Gabrial’s attempts at total World destruction. Farrell demonstrates his Nmap skills about 8 minutes into the movie.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a 2009 Swedish thriller film based on the Internationally bestselling novel. It follows Lisbeth, a troubled young hacker suffering from Asperger syndrome and a history of abuse by authority figures, as she works with a journalist trying to solve a 40-year old murder mystery. The Nmap scene lasts only moments and occurs about 6 minutes in.
Abduction is a 2011 thriller about a teenager who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website. In the process he is chased by, among other villains, an Nmap-using Serbian hacker henchman. If you notice something familiar about the background Nmap scans, it’s because the film makers directly grabbed some of them from The Matrix Reloaded. That’s sort of foul. Then again the film is titled Abduction.
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Dem’s the jokes…
I needed a few days off work, but I knew the Boss would not allow me to take a leave of absence. I thought that maybe if I acted “CRAZY” then he would tell me to take a few days off.
So I hung upside down on the ceiling and made funny noises. My blonde co-worker asked me what I was doing? I told her that I was pretending to be a light bulb so that the Boss would think I was “CRAZY” and give me a few days off.
A few minutes later the Boss came into the office and asked “What are you doing?” I told him I was a light bulb. He said “You are clearly stressed out. Go home and recuperate for a couple of days”.
I jumped down and walked out of the office. When my co-worker followed me, the Boss asked her “And where do you think you’re going?”
She said, “I’m going home too, you don’t expect me to work in the dark?”
- Nmap 6.25 released (net-security.org)
- Just how inaccurate were the hacking scenes in Skyfall? (io9.com)
- Nmap Fundamentals (packtpub.com)