Title: Forty years of movie hacking: considering the potential implications of the popular media representation of computer hackers from 1968 to 2008

Authors: Damian Gordon

Addresses: School of Computing, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin 8, Ireland

Abstract: Increasingly movies are being produced which feature plots that incorporate elements of computer security and hacking, and cumulatively these movies are creating a public perception as to the nature of computer security. This research examines movies that feature hackers (and hacking) to identify if any common themes emerge from these movies in their representation of these issues. To achieve this, first a corpus of hacking movies is created, and then using a qualitative data analysis technique, guidelines are developed which distinguish those movies that actually have the potential to create a perception with the general public. The resultant dataset is analysed and the salient details are compared to the reality of hacking. This research has implications in a range of fields, including in the education of computer students, organisation computer security and in the behaviour of the general public when using computers.

Keywords: computer security breaches; crackers; Jungian archetypes; filmic representations; movie hacking; popular media representation; computer hackers; film hacking; hacking movies; data analysis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJITST.2010.031472

International Journal of Internet Technology and Secured Transactions, 2010 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.59 - 87

Available online: 05 Feb 2010

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