Thursday, November 27, 2014

Fiction inspired by digital reality

What does it inspire a person to create a novel, a movie or a comic book? It is usually life itself, which is rich enough to produce the best comedies or the darkest horror stories.


Imagine for a moment that the protagonist of this story discovered by chance that someone has been spying on him for a long time. Perhaps this surveillance has been carried out by a Big Brother, like in The Truman Show (1998) or by technology itself, as we saw in the Person of Interest series (2011). But the seed is exactly the same. Every month some spyware is discovered (sometimes by chance). This is the case of a new variant of Remote Control System (RCS) spyware developed by Italian company Hacking Team.

In the novel I, Robot (1950), the reader faces the darkest fears of the twentieth century. What if these machines we are creating turn against us? Today something like that becomes reality. In fact, cars are increasingly managed by computer systems, which present serious flaws that could allow an attacker to remotely control it.

The film landscape is full of human mistakes. What did Evan Treborn have to live, once and again, in The Butterfly Effect (2004) when he tried to change the past? What does it happen to Adobe Flash over and over again, that we have to update it all the time?

Machines against human, machines against machines, like in Terminator. Nowadays botnets could be a preview of what lies ahead, strongly marked by the mobile ecosystem and the need for positioning on app markets.

The hero is sometimes a catalyst for action, a leader who is able to find vulnerabilities where no one did it before, and undertakes his particular odyssey to end the dangers that plague our world, just like Alice did Alice in Wonderland (about 1865).

Regarding all of this, there are some highly interesting projects like Hackerstrip, which is a webcomic about the world of hacking based on real-life events. Its first episode recalls part of the Heartbleed’s story, the ones about the compromised Tor’s nodes and the second fall of SilkR0ad, while its creators are waiting for the results of a $ 10,000 crowdfunding campaign. Do you think it's worth it to support them?

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