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Posted 6 janvier 2016

For a long time now the American film industry displays scenes showing a computer operator, a jewelry thief, a spy or a genius inspector who, with a few computer tricks, break through complex systems in a very short time, to take over confidential data, steal secrets or goods, open doors or industrial command controllers, turn on red-lights or lifts, etc.

Some of the movies are to remember for unveiling the unknown Universe of hackers*. You all have this picture in mind, of a little computer wizard taking control over a car, a helicopter or a satellite, or an international terrorist wirelessly blowing buildings or tunnels, or even an extraordinary police inspector finding a criminal within a few seconds leveraging the power of Big Data and file cross-matching… Little by little, Hollywood has turned from a so called sci-fi movie to more daily reality-depicting ones, showing realistic enough situations that make the viewer forget that a movie, unlike a documentary, is after all a work of fiction (as normally stated in the credits). Meanwhile, a fair amount of seemingly impossible situations, that do not deceive viewers, have become reality with technological evolutions in real life: nowadays, it is possible to take control over television broadcast (TV5 Monde) or a connected SCADA system (cv. Stuxnet). Today, there is no need for wearing white gloves as in “Minority Report”, to make tables scroll on a giant holographic screen since the Microsoft Kinect software recognizes hand gestures in front of a camera**. Today, it is possible to trace Internet connections with maps and flow charts (traceroute) and dealing with big data has merely become mundane, etc. As a matter of fact, spectators are no longer able to draw a difference between sci-fi and what experts are capable of, since Hollywood always introduces a little bit of “black magic” into its scenarios, to make the plot more exciting. No one would enjoy watching an operator working for hours in front of his computer, trying and retrying many passwords or progression paths through a system. By becoming more and more realistic – probably thanks to consultants – scenarios mainly cheat on the perception of time to make the action fit in the movie format (45min or 90min) and preserve the spectator interest. For many years, some movies have been ahead of their time in terms of anticipating technological advances and breakthroughs. For quite some time now, movies have had a hard time making people dream and believe in extraordinary technological feats that would shake our jaded spirits. The Internet of Things (IoT) world opens a new horizon, of which limits are still blurred, but for sure, pirates will make a new playground of it. Will next Hollywood productions find a new source of inspiration in it?

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-director-of-hackers-reflects-on-its-20th-anniversary

** http://www.infowars.com/minority-report-is-coming-true-microsoft-wants-stores-to-use-kinect-to-recognize-shoppers