Monday, January 28, 2008

Un...umm...traceable...understandable...battery acid...

So…in an Errata Security field trip today Rob and I saw Untraceable(A whopping 13% on the Tomatometer). While I did not cringe as much as I did in other movies like Live Free or Die Hard (Who could ever forget that whole "reroute all the gas in the country" bit) I could not help but notice how mainstream botnets have become. I do not want to give any plot points away but if you do not have adequate botnet protection you could end up sitting in a giant vat of battery acid. That is right, forget any compliancy or regulatory problems you may have, a vat of battery acid awaits people who cannot shutdown botnets. Battery acid. I mean it is not like a vat of chocolate or Vaseline, freaking battery acid. This movie taught me that battery acid and the human skin do not mix well. In fact amid a odd plot where a badguy is killing people in some twisted way user Google adsense, err, viewer involvement on a website the only really take away I have is that I do not want to end up in a vat of battery acid...and I should learn how to blink Morse code under very bad conditions.

Aside from the battery acid bath penalty for the lack of botnet protection, I found the movie to be a weird combination of “The Net” and Saw. There was a lot of techno jargon and pretty technical looking screens including what could be the first look at the “FBI rootkit” that made headlines last year. I doubt it though as it seems to use the Metasploit reverse VNC shellcode to show exactly what the bad guy seeson his screen. But you have to wonder what’s going on when fake FBI agents seem to know more about actual cybercrime than real ones.

My last gripe about this movie is the FBI instantly declares someone must be guilty because he has 3 handguns and 2 rifles registered. It seems to me that a person who legally bought the weapons has less of a chance of being guilty than people who did not. After deciding the absolute guilt of an individual because of firearms ownership our intrepid FBI cyberheros are able to get an FBI SWAT team to kick in a door in less than 10 minutes. I could not get over how streamlined the ability to get a no-knock warrant is these days in movie land.

The entire movie I was hungry for pasta and I could not figure out why till I realized that Diane Lane, the FBI cyber-heroine, starred as Judge Hersey opposite Sylvester Stallone in the runaway 1995 blockbuster hit Judge Dredd. I know we are still waiting for the Academy to give that gem a nod.

In hindsight, I feel like I should have seen Rambo or Meet the Spartans. Rob has a review as well, I can only imagine what he has to say about this movie.


Unknown said...

Hack the planet!

Unknown said...

I at least liked that they got some things right and explained some technical stuff rather well, for a movie. Heck, they even talked about what amounts to a fast flux DNS structure, without actually saying the name.

But yeah, some of the actual overarching things like casually taking over someone's system, one-click killing a site an a random US ISP, or viewing the website from a home connection (even if from an FBI-issued laptop connected to a VPN at work), were Hollywood-ized and much quicker/successful than the real world. But hey, that's why we watch movies and not documentaries all the time...