No, TV Producers Don't Understand IP Networks

One lesson you learn very quickly in IT: the way your job is represented on the small screen bears absolutely no resemblance to what happens in real life.

A post on Business Insider drawing on a Reddit thread about how the entertainment industry gets jobs wrong highlights a very telling example from the world of tech:

I work in IT, and am also a big fan of NCIS. Every single time McGee has to trace an IP or back trace a hacking attempt, they always end up at the same IP.. … Anyone who knows anything about networking gets a chuckle out of that.

Because yes, malicious types just keep all their router defaults. Any other examples spring to mind?

TV Shows And Movies That Grossly Misinterpret Your Job [Business Insider]


    The entirety of the movie "swordfish"?

    Technically, that was the big screen, though.

      The entirety of the movie "The Net" was even worse.

      Looking at one of the posters for Swordfish:

      I've always wondered why their workstation needed that many cables.

        It makes the terminal look more like an octopus than a swordfish.

        PROTIP: Swordfish 2 was just Jackman filling out insurance paperwork after his workstation caught fire.

        It was rated higher than the original movie.

    Sounds like the online equivalent of a phone number starting with "555"

    "Because yes, malicious types just keep all their router defaults."
    Its an internal IP so would only be found on your internal network.....

      "We've traced the bad guy, the IP IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!"

    Oh come on. You've got to give the TV producers a little credit.

    I work in telco, and the amount of times I get asked by sysadmins why we need to change their '' IP addressing at all branch offices to different subnets when we install a VPN ("Why can't we just use the same IP's at all sites like we used to?") is downright alarming.

    I thought HACKERS were spot on, it was almost a documentary of hacking in 1994.

    So accurate about there being hot chicks in IT, the supremacy of RISC processing, and an thoroughly accurate comment about the P6 chip: "Triple the speed of the Pentium."

    It still holds true today: if you want to be a hacker, all you need is a pair of roller-blades and some friends who hang out backstage at a rave club.

      You forgot the most important aspect of HACKERS ... 360 degree camera-pans of hipsters-on-acid bathed in neon light whilst zen'ing out on grunge-electronica .. without all of this essential visual and aural stimuli to help crack a digital conspiracy, you might as well be watching Sneakers.

      "28.8 bps modem! Oh, I want it to have my children!"

    Im surprised that they havnt used before.

      "And when they traced the killer's IP address back, it translated to..


      Not even a VB gooey can save you now >:C

    I always love the movies where the IP address has a number outside 255. (even though 255 is typically broadcast, it is still a 'valid' number. Hex FF)

    However, for something entertaining. How about this:
    Where the networking tool NMAP has been used in movies.

    Sometimes you just needs numbers without explanation.

    Regretably, "TCPDUMP in movies" doesn't turn up many meaningful results.

    Dont forget to type "Override" into the "mainframe" - works every time

    Because any valid IP address displayed on screen is likely to belong to someone.
    It's just like phone numbers.

    Does anyone remember the story about Bruce Almighty, where God had a real phone number that belonged to someone in reality. That person got called a lot.

      Yeah, that's why movies should use addresses like or or .. companies like that deserve unsolicited attention.

        Just go for the default
        If anyone can cope with the extra traffic, it's them...

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