The Pwnie Reviewer: Cybersecurity in the Public Eye

Now that Staples was hit, it seems that it’s official: breaches are becoming common, they’re being reported on, and there’s public interest. For once, though, the regular news media is lagging behind the rest of the entertainment industry: cybersecurity and data privacy have been cool in Hollywood for a long time.

Spy movies and cop procedurals have, for a long time, tackled the privacy and surveillance issues that were brought into the spotlight by Edward Snowden and his ilk. Questions of cops using potentially inadmissible evidence helped to educate the public on the subject, and wiretapping and other subjects have gotten more attention by their presence on TV than by their presence in the Supreme Court. Even Hollywood’s tech hardware has helped to influence public opinion about what things should look like: Star Trek very famously “predicted” the cellphone and other tools that now reflect, visually, their fictional predecessors.

For a short review on hacking in Hollywood, Computer World has a good – though extraordinarily subjective – list of the Top 10 Hacking Movies. This is only movies centered around hacking: as we see popular TV shows like “Scandal,” “The Blacklist,” and even “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” references are popping up everywhere more and more frequently. Unfortunately, they rarely portray the “real deal.”

As technology becomes more and more a part of everyday life, it would seem to make sense that we will see more of it in our media. The question is whether or not it will be accurate, and how much, realistically, the public will learn from it. Cybersecurity is incredibly important, and it is vital for it to be incorporated fully into our national consciousness.


*Interesting note: for some reason, many hacking references seem to be of Nmap (as the organization itself has pointed out)

*Let’s be honest: Pwnie Express products sound and look like something right out of a movie. [See: the Pwnie Studios short film]

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