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Aspiring Hackers Given False Reality

  1. Sep 21, 2015 #1
    So basically, I'm sure many of you have watched the new tv show Mr. Robot. I'll be the first to say that the show is incredible and quite possibly one of my favourites ever. And if you haven't watched it you should. But thats besides the point.

    It seems the show has inspired many non-tech guys to want to hack. They see the show and want to learn how to hack someones Facebook or other social media outlet, etc. They want to create an algorithm to generate ones password, similar to what is done in the show. There are a few people I know that have asked me what language do I need to learn to hack, etc.

    What do you guys think about this ? If someone goes into a field because of an idealized image of hacking, what would you tell them ? I'm not a computer security expert by any stretch, so I'm not to familiar with the plausibility of hacking someones personal info, etc.

    BTW I'm currently a computer science student specializing in numerical methods/parallel computing.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2015 #2


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    When The Sopranos was big there was a lot of renewed interest in the Italian mafia, but I suspect very few people actually became mobsters because of the show.

    Similarly I don't think enrollment in physics has increased dramatically in the years since the Big Bang Theory has been on the air.

    So even though I haven't seen the show myself, I suspect that if anything, what is *actually* does is just draw more attention to issues the issues involved with hacking. And maybe this is a good thing in that it makes people think twice about what they post online.
  4. Sep 21, 2015 #3
    Right after I saw the first episode I thought the show was incendiary in the sense it would greatly elevate interest in hacking. Elliot has enormous power despite being painfully introverted, even by himself, without the rest of fsociety. I can't help but think that's going to appeal to a lot of viewers and seem attainable.
  5. Sep 21, 2015 #4


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    Hacking, or otherwise unauthorized entry into a computer system, is illegal. Why would they want to engage in a criminal activity.
  6. Sep 22, 2015 #5
    But many times that's the motivation to start studying something, an idealization, so I don't see that as something wrong. You can get into hacking without actually stealing anything, just for the fun of it. Knowing how computers and servers work on the most basic level is sometimes what many hackers are looking for, and of course to be able to do some cool stuff. Tell them they NEED to know C and Assembly for application-based hacking (virus, rootkits, cracks, etc...) and for server-based hacking they need both to know C/Assembly and have a solid knowledge of linux shell, mySQL, php, javascript, sockets, encryption methods, etc...
  7. Sep 23, 2015 #6


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    Pretty sure once people realize the huge amount of work involved, they will drop out (if they had already started), or give up on trying. Most want the glory, the fun, but very few are willing to do what it takes, to put up the necessary effort.
  8. Sep 23, 2015 #7
    Yeah I agree. I think this happens to be the case in many disciplines, physics being fairly notorious for this.
  9. Sep 26, 2015 #8
    The human one. Social engineering is by far the most effective exploit.
  10. Oct 6, 2015 #9
    They will try to hack but get no further than being "script kiddies" who are out of thier element using anything beyond a mouse no less a command line argument.

    They will quit..........most of them, anyway.
  11. Oct 6, 2015 #10


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    Reminds me of the man who tells his wife the cliche: " I will climb any mountain, cross any river,.... , do anything you want me to do, I just want to please you" . The wife then says: could you please get me a glass of water from the kitchen? The man says: Oh, no, I am too tired for that.
  12. Oct 7, 2015 #11


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    I just find this whole thread to be rather amusing that someone is actually worried about a bunch of people, whose mission among others is to deceive, cheat, etc., are themselves being deceived. What's next? We should worry about ISIS fighters getting paper cuts? Poor babies!

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