Hackers: A Wake Up Call For the Nintendo Generation

Roller blading. Techno music. Hacking. All activities are heavily associated with the 1990s, a time when personal computers were for tech nerds only and hacking was a relatively recent phenomenon. No movie encompasses the hacking subculture better than 1995’s Hackers, a film starring Angelina Jolie, Jonny Lee Miller and Lorraine Braco, among others. After they’re framed by an evil cybersecurity officer, a group of high-school hackers must prove themselves innocent using their incredible computer skills. It has it all: hacktivism, tiny sunglasses that have somehow come back in style, and the kind of unbridled confidence that only people who have never supported themselves financially could have. Oh, high schoolers! 

In this episode, Gabe and Aliza discuss hacking: how it’s changed since 1995, hacktivism, and the Hacker’s Manifesto referenced in the film. Companies still hire ethical hackers, otherwise known as white hat hackers, in order to find security vulnerabilities before black hat hackers do. This practice is incredibly necessary, as so many companies have had breaches (I’m thinking NordVPN, Nest, and Capital One, to name a few recent examples). Even with the growing need for cybersecurity, especially for IoT devices, a report from Cybersecurity Ventures suggests that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. And these jobs are highly-paying. One hacker working for cybersecurity company Synack made over $1 million this year alone.

Time Stamps

0:57 Movie Trivia/ Fun Facts 

1:35 Movie Recap 

8:00 Gabe and Aliza discuss what hacking looks like nowadays and how it’s changed since 1995 when the movie takes place, including ethical hacking.

14:40 Discussion of the Hacker’s Manifesto 

16:40 Discussion of hacktivism

24:18 Gabe and Aliza ask the titular question, are we in the future?

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