I was watching “Live Free or Die Hard” and its plot revolved around a hacker taking down the entire united states. It got me thinking: Where does Thomas Gabriel rank among the greatest hacker Hollywood has ever produced? So I sat down and made a list and ranked all the hackers that appeared in a Motion Picture. My criteria was not believability but ability. I did not judge the realism of the hacking scene, I simply judged each hacker on what he/she could or could not do. For example #5 on the list ranks higher then #6 because #5 can hack government security and #6 only hacked a casino. Speed of the Hack was important if it took one hacker 1 minute to hack the NSA and it took another hacker a couple of days then the first hacker would be considered better. So here is the list of the Top 10 Hollywood Hackers as:
10. Dennis Nedry – Jurassic Park (1993)
Why he’s on the list:He wrote over 2 millions line of code , programmed the entire pack AND he hacked into the system to shut it down. He also created a virus that shut down the whole park.
Why he’s not higher: Why he obviously is a talented coder, but essentially he hacked his own program which is less impressive then hacking a unknown system.
Famous Quote:”Dodgson, Dodgson, we have Dodgson here! See? Nobody cares. Nice hat! What are ya tryin’ to look like – a secret agent?”
9. Mouse – The Matrix (1999)
Why he’s on the list: He could hack the Matrix, create virtual reality simulation programs and more then likely wrote half of the software that the crew used to do anything in the Matrix. He also created the girl “In the Red Dress”. It easy to be a hacker inside the Matrix(see honarable mentions) but hacking the Matrix outside the Matrix took real talent.
Why he’s not higher: Real hackers don’t die in the first half of the movie.
Famous Quote: “That’s exactly my point. Exactly. Because you have to wonder: how do the machines know what Tasty Wheat tasted like? Maybe they got it wrong. Maybe what I think Tasty Wheat tasted like actually tasted like oatmeal, or tuna fish. That makes you wonder about a lot of things. You take chicken, for example: maybe they couldn’t figure out what to make chicken taste like, which is why chicken tastes like everything. “
8. Dade Murphy – Hackers (1995)
Why he’s on the list: He crashed Wall Street at the age of 11 and somehow kept up with the latest hacking technology despite not being able to go near a computer tell the age of 18. He also could infiltrate Corporate security,organize a DOS attack and take over the occasional TV network.
Why he’s not higher: Too pretty, too well dressed and had too much game for a real hacker.
Famous Quote: “I’m taking over a TV network.”
7. Lyle -The Italian Job (2003)
Why he’s on the list: He could hack into almost any state and government computer and he also could create convincing computer CAD simulation in real time 3D graphics. He also hacked the Los Angeles Traffic network to change the lights as he wanted(anyone living in L.A. would kill for that power).He also claimed he was the real inventor of Napster.
Why he’s not higher: Stupidity, that fact that he choose LAX and to run his hack over a AIR card or a wireless network where bandwidth was no guarantee loses him some points. Plus he should be thankful that he didn’t invent Napster with all the legal trouble the company has faced.
Famous Quote: “I am The Napster.”
6. Livingston Dell – Ocean’s 11(2001)
Why he’s on the list: He can hack casino security which anyone will tell you is not easy. He has could hack both hardware and software with a strong ability to bypass any encryption. He also did some social hacking, although he was not very good at it.
Why he’s is not higher: More of a techie then a true hacker. We never see him writing code and he has trouble keeping his cool
Famous Quote: “I’ll explain later.”
5. Stanley Jobson – Swordfish (2001)
Why he’s on the list: He can hack the NSA computer in less then a minute with a pretty girl *ahem* taking up some of his attention. He also could also break government encryption and hack any banking system.
Why he’s is not higher: First off Hackers do not jump and dance around during their hacking session and everyone knows REAL hackers don’t drink wine, also hackers work with code not some rubix cube looking 3D grid.
Famous Quote: “Nothing is impossible.”
4. Martin Bishop – Sneakers (1992)
Why he’s on the list: He transfered Richard Nixon’s personal assets to left wing groups in the 60’s no less. He is probably the greatest social hacker of this group. He can walk into any office, bank and complete the hack and make it look easy.
Why he’s is not higher: Despite his early hacking exploits, his team really does the brunt of the work in the movie, still given his experience and social abilities a great hacker none the less.
Famous Quote: “You know I could have been in the NSA, but they found out my parents were married.”
3. Theodore Donald Finch – The Core (2003)
Why he’s on the list: Could hack almost anything, the FBI, NSA, you name it he could hack it. Given unlimited resources he could even control the whole Internet
Why he’s is not higher: Tough choice not to move him higher but he lacks the social hacking skills of the two below.
Famous Quote: “You want me to hack the planet? OK, if I decide to do this, I’ll need an unlimited supply of Xena tapes and Hotpockets.”
2. Thomas Gabriel – Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Why he’s on the list: He shut down the country. He took down the traffic system, crashed wall street, took over the satelite that controls the TV waves and initiated a “Fire Sale” where everything must go. He also could tap into Air Forces frequency and give false orders.
Why he’s is not higher: Real hackers don’t carry guns and he delegated a lot of the work to other hackers but he was the man behind the vision, plus he was an A-hole.
Famous Quote: “On your tombstone it should say “Always in the wrong place at the wrong time”
1. David Lightman – War Games (1983)
Why he’s on the list: The original hacker is still the greatest hacker, he could combine the discreetness of a social hacker with strong technical hacking skills, he was a hacker before anyone else knew what it was. Despite the fact he was still in high school he hacked into a secure government facility and almost caused World War III. He could also change his grades, and some how get streaming video (with sound) to work in 1983. Plus he was smooth with the ladies.
Why he’s is not higher: Can’t get higher then #1 some would question whether he could be hacker in the modern world, I say imagine if David continued hacking to this day how good would he be?
Famous Quote: “Umm… Your wife?”