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Hackers have always had a place in pop culture, but their machinations have been most appreciated in the movies. They've been breaking and entering coded systems in Hollywood since the 80s with varying amounts of screen time in instalments of James Bond, Mission Impossible, Star Trekand Transformers, and films like Swordfish, The Social Network, Live Free Or Die Hard, Jurassic Park, Independence Day, Virtuosity, Superman III, and so on. In 1995, there were two films - The Netand Hackers- that were wholly about the practice. They've even had face time on TV shows like the The X-Files, 24, Star Trek, Doctor Whoand Buffy. Strangely, for a country that sells itself as an IT superpower, very few Indian films have featured hackers, save for A Wednesday and Rajinikanth's Enthiran(Robot). In light of recent events, that may soon change. In the meanwhile, those who wanted to know everything about hacking but didn't know who to ask could take a cue from some of our most memorable cyberpunks. . .
ANDREW SCOTT AS MORIATY ON SHERLOCK | BBC ONE'S TV SERIES
The bells may still peal for Benedict Cumberbatch's sharp Sherlock Holmes on TV, but praise must also go to Andrew Scott, who plays a slimy Moriaty, his arch enemy and super hacker in this postmodern turn. Moriaty's villainous aptitude for corruption and disruption peaks in the finale of Season Two, in the episode called The Reichenbach Fall, an adaptation of Conan Doyle's The Final Problem. Here, Moriaty's ability to burrow through Britain's best firewalls and into top secured systems like those of the Tower of London, Pentonville Prison, and the vault at the Bank of England with nothing more than his iPhone makes him a worthy foe for Sherlock, who is apparently taken in by his boast of possessing a code that can penetrate any security system in the world
KEANU REEVES AS NEO IN THE MATRIX | 1999
This landmark sci-fi blockbuster is the ultimate paean to the hacker, depicted here as humanity's saviours. The leader of the pack is Neo, who gradually discovers he's 'The One' - the world's conflicted but ultra-hip redeemer, who is able to dish out kung fu chops and blank stares with equal practice
JEFF BRIDGES AS KEVIN FLYNN IN TRON | 1982
In this cult film, which many regard as a landmark in computer animation, Bridges plays a brilliant game designer who is transported into a digital world inside a computer. He must now fight for survival against the connivances of 'Master Control', an artificial intelligence program with a penchant for staging neon lit gladiatorial games
CASE (HENRY DORSETT CASE) IN WILLIAM GIBSON'S NOVEL NEUROMANCER | 1984
Wlliam Gibson's seminal 1984 cyberpunk novel places Case, a washed-up hacker, in a futuristic Japanese megalopolis. Here he is tapped by a shadowy employer to pull off a daunting assignment. He ends up going on nerve-wracking ride through a dystopian world that is product of an imagined human-machine consciousness. Deep existential questions are at every turn, which is probably why Case and his 'cyberspace' (a term Gibson coined) have proven so influential
LISBETH SALANDER IN STIEG LARSSON'S THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (BOOKS AND FILMS)
Salander is a top-seed, troubled young hacker. Again and again, she breaks into closed corporate networks, acquires off-limits records, and all but effortlessly gains open-ended access to hard drives belonging to friends and foes alike. Her
mastery of cyberspace goes a long way
towards compensating for
her lack of social skills
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