With the rise in cyber security-related occurrences in the general media, it only makes sense that it would spill over into entertainment. For example, the 2016 releases of “Jason Bourne” or “Now You See Me 2” both deal with the issues of privacy in the cyber realm in some form or another. But this isn’t new, by any means. The possibilities are endless on film. In fact, cyber security movies have been around ever since the very beginning of the digital era.
Screenwriters and directors have constantly been exploring the “What if” moments of privacy. What if the government is watching us? What if there’s a chip that can unlock all devices? What if, what if, what if? And although it might seem like the directors are being unrealistic, what’s surprising is that many of the films that have been made in the past contain technologies that now in the present we utilize!
So today on the blog, let’s take a look at some general and industry-favorites to compare the past and future:
The Top 5 Cyber Security Movies that you need to see right now!
1. Sneakers (1992)
No, the title does not refer to a type of athletic shoes. A movie about a group of nerds that are spies, they are chased by government men after discovering a cyber attack program that can penetrate any security system. Nowadays, we can imagine such things but back in the early 90s, a software like that was unthinkable.
This movie is worth watching, especially as it stars Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier and Dan Aykroyd, it contains mixed genres of action, drama, and even some comedy (I mean, after all, it is a Dan Aykroyd movie). It’s underrated but a favorite among the IT-enthusiasts.
2. The Net (1995)
Sometimes you’re a spy out to expose the government, and sometimes it’s the other way around. This 1995 Sandra Bullock film is centered on the main character, Angela Bennett. A low-key computer geek, Angela is the unfortunate victim of government-aided identity theft, just because she happened upon a floppy disk (remember those?) containing government-surveillance plans.
Again, identity theft was a topic that was still strange and foreign back in the mid-90s, but nowadays we hear on the news daily about which company had their data breached.
3. Hackers (1995)
This next film can be a bit hit or miss with a techno soundtrack and bizarre plot and graphics, but somehow the movie is endearing. The main character is Dade Murphy, a hacking prodigy who at 11 is arrested and charged for causing a 7-point drop in the NYSE. He is barred by the state from using the Internet until his 18th birthday. The day he hits 18, of course he goes online and finds a new group of hacker friends. Of course situations go awry as they mess with the wrong crowd.
As far as cyber security movies go, this one is a bit on the comically quirky side. However, it’s worth a watch as it portrays these situations in a rather facetious light.
4. WarGames (1983)
The earliest film in our top 5 list, this classic was a game changer in the industry. Starring Matthew Broderick as a genius kid who hacks into the NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) system to impress his girl.
While it’s a simple plot, this was the 80s and the Cold War tensions were in full force. It’s said that after watching the movie President Reagan was actually concerned to see if this was really possible. The response? Yes, it was. The movie actually directed the government to secure its computer technology, even in the times of modem dial-up Internet.
5. Enemy of the State (1998)
Probably the most action-filled movie in the list, this Will Smith flick is about a lawyer who stumbles upon some NSA information. The movie shows surveillance technology being used in any and every way imaginable. Again, the technologies seen in the movie are making or already have made their way onto the scene. It definitely gives a taste of how technology can have a detrimental effect on privacy (or the lack of it).
Now quite honestly, the cyber security movies on this list vary. Some are a bit on the fantastical side while others are more realistic. But all in all, you can see through the plots and responses to these films that security has no boundaries. Not in terms of time or even industry is cyber security limited.
Movies will continue to be made in the future. It’s easy to dismiss plots as unrealistic and mere creation of a director or writer’s mind. But when we take a look at these movies from the past, we can see that perhaps it’s not that much of a stretch after all.