Mr Robot is a fictional TV drama following the life and times of security engineer, hacker and cyber-vigilante Elliot Alderson. The show has won plaudits for turning hacktivism and cybersecurity into exciting television — but is any of it accurate? During a recent Reddit AMA, Kasperksy Lab's global director Costin Raiu weighed in on the authenticity of the show. Read on for his opinion.
The Russian-based security software provider Kasperksy Lab recently appeared on Reddit AMA to field questions about all things security. (You can read the full thread here.) One of the first questions centered on the TV show Mr. Robot; specifically how accurately it depicts the reality of IT security and hacking on a scale of 0 to 10. Here is Raiu's response:
Mr Robot is a strong 9.5 for me. Most of the scenes are top class and the usage of tools, operating systems and other tiny details, from social engineering to opsec is very good. I guess having help from some real world security experts helped (the folks at Avast did a great job!) I particularly enjoyed some of the quite realistic scenes, such as the poor developer who can’t help fixing the broken Bitcoin bank, the parking lot USB key attack [and] their depiction of how quickly a phone can get backdoored with the right preparation (less than the span of a shower).
Of course, this doesn't mean that the show isn't guilty of stretching plausibility — it's a TV thriller, after all — but it's nice to know they're getting the little details right. (See also: The Martian.)
In the same AMA, Kaspersky was also asked to rate the accuracy of this infamous NCIS "I'm being hacked!" scene out of ten:
Here's Kaspersky response:
Up to eleven!