Recent global cyber attacks: do they remind you of a movie?
To many of us, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO are a source of escape, connection, and joy at this time, when the pandemic still holds our lives on pause.
Besides the coronavirus, the past year has also brought us a cyber pandemic. From breaking into online governmental platforms to hacked accounts, data leaks, and disruptive ransomware attacks, hackers and their recent sophisticated raids could easily remind us of a movie.
“Some movies on cybersecurity managed to predict the future: what seemed like a conspiracy theory a few decades ago is a reality today,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
For some compelling flicks and engaging documentaries, Daniel Markuson recommends the top 7 movies about cybersecurity and hacking:
- Lo and Behold Reveries of the Connected World (2016). This is Werner Herzog’s documentary about the history and fundamentals of the internet and its future. A German romantic filmmaker dives into the wonders of what is possible while reminding of its dangers.
- Citizenfour (2014). An original, Oscar-nominated documentary about Edward Snowden and the NSA spying scandal. Created by Laura Poitras, this film includes Snowden’s actual interviews in Hong Kong in 2013 and features the work done by journalist Glenn Greenwald.
- Blackhat (2015). A well-crafted and cutting-edge movie created by real hackers about a dangerous code that was written a long time ago and has now affected the world on a global scale. Made by director Michael Mann and starring Chris Hemsworth, this is a film about an ex-con hacker who joins a team of technical experts to track down the people behind major cyberattacks in Chicago and Hong Kong.
- Unfriended: Dark Web (2018). A horror film that follows a group of Millennials cyber-terrorized by a mysterious group of internet trolls/killers after discovering a cache of hidden files on a stolen laptop.
- The Defenders (2018). The movie details some famous cyberattacks and the people who had to keep our institutions safe from ever-evolving cyber threats. The documentary features the story of six cyberthreats that occurred during the London 2012 Summer Olympics, the New York Times data breach, the Sony Pictures cyberattack, and a ransomware attack in San Francisco.
- Password (2019). A police officer seeks to find a cybercriminal who is destroying innocent people’s lives by hacking their passwords. In order to eliminate this web of cybercrime, the officer forms a team with ethical hackers and comes up with a master plan.
- The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (2014). The movie portrays the story of Reddit co-founder, programming prodigy, and information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26. The Reddit community calls it profoundly moving, disturbing, and worth hearing.
How to stream safely?
One of the ways various streaming services accounts get leaked is after users inject their computers with malware by clicking on a suspicious link or file distributed via email or private messaging apps.
Such phishing attacks mainly succeed for two reasons: careless cybersecurity protections and human error. “Before opening any link or any attachment, you must be 100% sure it’s legitimate,” Daniel Markuson warns.
According to the cybersecurity expert, “Another issue is that people barely use cybersecurity tools like VPN and antivirus. Such software should be installed and updated regularly. The combination of the two could block the way to malware installation.”
A VPN (virtual private network) service provides a secure, encrypted tunnel for online traffic flow. It creates a secret “tunnel” from your device to the internet and hides your vital data such as your personal information, online activity, IP address, and location through something known as encryption.
Additionally, to prevent your accounts from being hacked, use two-factor authentication and different passwords for each streaming service. This way, if one of your passwords is compromised, you only have to deal with the one, decreasing the risk to the remaining accounts.
NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider used by over 14 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide, and is P2P-friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is the zero-log policy. For more information: nordvpn.com.