According to experts at the World Economic Forum, the threat of cyber crime is increasing every day.
Which is a shock to us movie geeks. After all, going by the flicks we’ve seen, computer hacking is about as realistic as Harry Potter.
Don’t believe us? Scroll down to see what happens when you apply actual logic to the sort of computer wiz-kids that inhabit the minds of movie-makers.
Kevin Flynn - Tron
What he can do: Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is a computer expert who hacks his way into a computer, physically. That’s right, he manages to put his body inside a computer. Which is a trick we wish was possible, especially when we’re looking at pictures of Megan Fox on our Mac.
Why he’d find real computers confusing: Sadly, it’s not possible to get your real-life body into a computer. The closest you can get is designing a fake body in World Of Warcraft and spending your whole life playing it.
Unfortunately, this can have negative effects on your real-world body, including BO, chubbiness and finger-cramp. Which is a lot less cool than riding a light-bike.
Optimus Prime – Transformers
What he can do: Prime hacks into eBay and uses it as a tool to track down Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf).
Despite the fact he’s able to get Witwicky’s address – and a picture of his face - from the auction site, Prime stills thinks his target’s name is Ladiesman217. We’re not sure why. It’s funny, though.
Why he’d find real computers confusing: Once he got over the shock that the PC he’s using doesn’t transform into one of his mates, Prime would probably cry oily tears over the fact it’s difficult get photographs of anything other than general tat on eBay, and it’s actually quite hard to stalk someone using a page containing the details of a second hand pair of glasses as your only reference point.
David Levinson – Independence Day
What he can do: Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) uses a PC to trick an alien spaceship into giving an entire armada of extraterrestrials a computer virus. That’s the actual plot of Independence Day.
Why he’d find real computers confusing: Using a man-made PC to interface with alien technology is so bafflingly illogical, we’re pretty sure that if Levinson encountered a real computer, he’d take it into the middle of a field, rest it on a cow’s back and expect it to turn into a meal after he typed B.U.R.G.E.R into the keyboard.
David Lightman - WarGames
What he can do: Lightman (Matthew Broderick) manages to accidentally hack into a military defence computer, gaining access to America’s nuclear arsenal via a charming chat-bot.
Why he’d find real computers confusing: Well, for one thing, the ministry of defence makes it pretty hard to hack into its systems when you’re deliberately trying to find a backdoor, let alone when you think you’re playing chess or whatever.
Still, Matthew can distract himself from the disappointment of not being able to start World War III by playing Command And Conquer and taking it really, really seriously.
Jobe Smith - The Lawnmower Man
What he can do: Smith (Jeff Fahey) used Virtual Reality to hack into every computer in the world, in an attempt to get reborn as a VR God. He was also able to use computers to make every telephone in the world ring out in unison. We’re not quite sure how he did that.
Why he’d find real computers confusing: For one thing, you don’t put on a chunky head-set to use them. For another, he’d probably find it quite disturbing that his god-like VR powers didn’t make it past 1993, when everyone realised that Virtual Reality was a bit of a fad.
Luther Stickell – Mission Impossible
What he can do: Stickell (Ving Rhames) is so good at hacking he can do it sitting in a steam-vent, which inexplicably has rats in it, via a head-set, in the headquarters of the CIA. Awesome.
Why he’d find real computers confusing: Laptops are much harder to operate when you don’t have a Tom Cruise marionette pushing the keys for you.
Gus Gorman - Superman III
What he can do: Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) first displays his godlike control of ‘80s computers by using his IBM PC to program two things at once, using BASIC.
He quickly puts those supreme powers to evil use, salami slicing large sums of money from his employer’s payroll.
Why he’d find real computers confusing: Actually, he wouldn’t. Gorman was simply ahead of his time.
In 2008 a hacker managed to nick over $50,000 from Google Checkout and Paypal by stealing the tiny sums online payment services send out to prove new accounts are real.
The hacker designed a script that set up 58,000 accounts, sat back and got ready to count the money. Sadly, he was caught before he could spend it. Even sadder, the cops that came to collect him didn’t even bother to dress up as Superman. Spoilsports.