security related pet peeves from movies


Active Member
Just to get a little discussion going...
I have a few pet peeves with how security systems are treated in movies.
One of the worst is when they show someone pushing a button forcing fire sprinklers in multiple areas to turn on.....
another one is when the burglar is breaking in, they pull out a device that goes through all the disarm codes until they get the right one to disarm.
This assumes the device the burglar plugs in has the correct device address and speaks the particular systems protocol. The system can't reply to thousands of key presses in a few seconds... This would probably cause a keypad bus error.
Another is the brilliant hacker who can remotely hack in to anyone's security system. On an HAI you need to know the encryption key before you even get a network connection. Then you have to be running PC Access not some other app. This is a controller with its own custom operating system. No standard apps or ports to break in through.
Then there is the hacker who can break in to anyone's camera system remotely. You need to know what ports to use, passwords, camera system, etc.
If the hacker has physical access to the system or has stolen encryption keys and passwords, that's another story. In the movies, they just type a few key presses and they are in.
One of the worst movies in this regard is Swordfish (2001) with Travolta, Jackman and Berry. While its fun to watch, Hugh Jackman can break in to any system remotely while spewing gibberish about trap doors and viruses and back doors. He is busy pounding on the keyboard when there is no open window on screen to take his input....
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I'll add another gripe. Movies that show satellites being used in unrealistic ways.

Enemy of the State is one example where the NSA bad guys are watching Will Smith in real time as he moves around the city. I assume the satellite they showed was supposed to represent something like a KH-11 Keyhole satellite, but a KH-11 doesn't even look like that. It looks more like the Hubble.

Another is Battleship, where a LandSat satellite is used as a relay by the aliens to phone home.

I think the most close-to-real depiction was in Patriot Games where the CIA watches blurry IR images of terrorists in the Libyan desert. And even that was a bit of a stretch.