News7 Movies With Realistic Hacking

7 Movies With Realistic Hacking


- Advertisement -


Despite the ubiquity of digital technology in the 21st century, few people understand how hacking actually works — which is why so many movies feature hacking sequences where some geek shouts about entering the mainframe. Hacking is so horribly misrepresented in mainstream media that true tech experts are surprised when a show or film gets the process right. If you are eager to see realistic hacking in action, you might find a place to watch any of the following seven movies, which are highly regarded as showing hacking how it actually is.


The first hacking movie is also perhaps the most famous hacking movie — and it just so happens to be among the best hacking movies in terms of realism. Though no military defense strategy has ever involved a game-loving AI-driven supercomputer, the truth is that teens dedicated to computers in the 1980s and ‘90s could be considered world-class experts in hacking and that many had the skills and knowledge to infiltrate high-level systems. Still, there are many elements of this movie that make the hacking a bit unrealistic, even in 1983 when it was released.

Who am I?

Experts around the world agree that this German movie released in 2014 is by far the most realistic representation of the world of hacking and cybersecurity to date. Following a cybersecurity expert who gets pulled into a life of black-hat hacking, the film manages to balance excitement and intrigue with accurate depictions of the hacker’s lifestyle and activities. What’s more, many audience members attest to learning about cybersecurity from “Who am I?” which is more than many articles and trainings about cybersecurity can claim.


Starring Chris Hemsworth in a role as a convicted cybercriminal — a step outside his usual role as gorgeous hero — this 2015 movie showcases how the “bad guys” and the “good guys” in the realm of cybersecurity often have identical skills. The story pulls from real-life tales of black-hat hackers being caught and serving their sentence by offering their expertise to enhance cybersecurity. Interestingly, this film does highlight a way that cyberwarfare might evolve in the coming years and how hacking could be a critical skill not just for digital security but for international peace.


Though the computer systems in use in this 1995 cult classic might be a bit outdated, the culture and language of the hackers remains surprisingly spot-on. Inspired by many stories of tweens and teens in the ‘80s and ‘90s responsible for devastating malware attacks, “Hackers” accurately depicts the fun and excitement that many hackers feel when they play around with computers. Though the psychedelic visuals may obscure the rather mundane process of hacking, the movie remains a favorite amongst cybersecurity pros.


This film from 1992 is one of the first and only movies to showcase penetration testers, whose job focuses on testing an organization’s defenses to find weaknesses before black-hat hackers can launch successful attacks that cause harm. The film talks at length about early methods of cybersecurity that are still widely used today, like encryption, and various methods of hacking are put on display, to include social engineering and phreaking. Fun to watch and also informative, “Sneakers” could be a useful introduction to business leaders who need to be convinced to invest in managed cybersecurity solutions.


Another German film, and another film from the 1990s, this movie is the first on the list to be based on a specific true story, in which a group of young computer users in Hannover perform escalating acts of hacking and eventually infiltrate government and military systems. Though the film does take some liberties to tell a more interesting story, the truth is that many hacking groups to this day begin as friends with shared interests and skills.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Unlike other films on this list, David Fincher’s outstanding adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s mystery novel does not make hacking its primary focus, but Lisbeth Salander’s hacking skills are undeniably accurate to real life. What makes this movie rank especially high in realism is the lack of aesthetic visuals used during the hacking sequences, as hacking almost never utilizes glamorous interfaces; rather, hackers either use the same tools that are available to everyone or else have functional solutions that they alone understand how to use.

Almost everyone has a digital device that they use every day, but almost no one has the skills and knowledge to function as a hacker. Perhaps watching the above films will convince more people to practice hacking — or else to install high-quality cybersecurity tools on all their devices.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

Stay connected



You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you