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5 Things Hollywood Thinks Computers Can Do

#4.
Hacking Will Let You Steal Any Damned Thing You Want

Worst Offender: Swordfish

What Happened:
The presumed abilities of computers are fairly well detailed in the actual tagline of this movie: "Log on. Hack in. Go anywhere. Steal everything." And, that' no exaggeration. If you watch the movie, you'll realize that's exactly what the filmmakers believe. John Travolta' villain in Swordfish is Gabriel Shear (wait, wasn't the Die Hard bad guy named Gabriel, too?) and his scheme was to steal $9.5 billion from the U.S. government. With hacking.


Above: Hacking

Why It's Ridiculous:
The entire premise of the plot is that in the vast, computerized world of modern finance, $9.5 billion could slip through the cracks so that a clever hacker could, with hacking, transfer it to his own account unnoticed. This sounds plausible to some, because almost all the money exists only in computers (not even 10% percent of our money exists as printed currency) and it seems like that would make it easier to steal.

We assure you, wherever there is $9.5 billion, there are several people who will fucking notice if it's gone. In a world full of brilliant, real-life hackers, the reason the money doesn't continually vanish from your checking account is because there are equally brilliant people working on the other side.

In Real Life�
Shear's entire plan was to steal the money so he could use it to run an underground anti-terror organization. We're pretty sure all that takes is writing a letter to your congressman and saying, "I would like $9.5 billion to run an underground anti-terror organization." The check should arrive within four to six weeks.
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