May 9, 2021

What are your pet peeves for fictional hackers?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  grublets 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #385476


    I’m writing a story with one of the characters being a hacker. I’m already avoiding the stereotype of them being psychotic/fat/greasy/antisocial, but are there any other pet peeves you guys think I should stay clear of concerning fictional hackers?

  • #385477


    How they look at a system, tap a few keys, and get in within moments.

  • #385478


    Make sure he still gets stuck. Then, have him find an unexpected way around it. It’s not realistic for a hacker to be able to get into everything instantly.

    Additionally, AT LEAST ONCE OR TWICE have him social engineer whatever he’s trying to hack (meaning hack it with trickery and deception, rather than technology). Have him do a phone call impersonating someone or something.

    Hacking is a long process. It won’t be instant.

    Make sure his “hacks” cover different sub-fields of hacking (SE, Reverse engineering, exploit dev, malware dev, OSINT).

    Research the basic concepts of hacking before you do this.

    Want to make things a little more interesting and possibly illegal? Add fraud into the story (he has to fraudulently obtain XYZ in order to do his hacks because he has no money).

    The type of person? Anybody.

    Take me for example: 18 year old male, not particularly nerdy, but not a jock or anything like that. Good people person, take care of myself, etc. Regardless, to make a good character, they must have flaws of some kind! I have little to no plans for the future, and I’m extremely impulsive. I’m intelligent, but I’m not smart. I make dumb decisions. But not much about me actually screams “hacker.” It’s something you understand as you get to know me!

    But that’s just me for an example. It could be anyone! 45 year old man having a midlife crisis, who used to fuck around with phone systems when he was my age, and stuck with it as the internet developed! 15 year old kid with acne, who doesn’t talk to anyone at school! That sketchy guy on the street corner! a homeless man using his skills to survive! The cashier at 711. You never know. I was in a treatment center before, and one patient’s mom was a 60 year old woman, who had been coding since COBOL was still in use.

    Shoot me a DM when you’re done.

  • #385479


    Two fingers typing. We work at the keyboard for hours, we know how to touch-type.

  • #385480


    So long as you have at least six giant HD monitors, or maybe a movie sized screen, showing a giant 3D hacking maze that the hacker can zoom through in first person perspective, complete with blaring sirens, skull and crossbones that laugh menacingly when the hacker reaches a dead end, and a serene ending where all the colors go from red to green, and ‘ACCESS GRANTED’ flashes up in the Star Treck DS9 font…ya. So long as you include that, everything will be believable.

  • #385481


    “I’m in” and “reverse hack”

  • #385482


    Go for total realism. Have your character’s brain freeze watching 2 IppSec videos on YouTube, then spending 20 mins trying and failing to get access to HackTheBox by shouting “Kali” at the screen and finally posting on Reddit asking if anyone can hack his ex’s Facebook for a $10 Amazon gift card.

  • #385483


    What was the last Borne movie where they hacked a Nokia phone from across the world even though it has Firewall1, Firewall2, Firewall3 and was hacked in like… 2.7 minutes.

    Yeah, don’t do that.

  • #385484


    Make sure he struggles but also don’t rule out antisocial. Many people decide with computers because they are easier to communicate with then human beings.

  • #385485


    The more hands and keys hit on the same keyboard the faster you hack!

    Looking for the Red Code…

  • #385486


    Don’t go overly GUI – stay away from magical coloured characters, green flashy 3D-models and in general stuff moving unprompted.

  • #385487


    How overplayed it is. This shit is boring 99% of the time.

  • #385488


    Not so much a peeve but I’d suggest you give ‘the art of deception’ and the ‘stealing the network’ series a read with regard to hacker fiction done well.

    Don’t make them omnipotent; you can’t have ‘oh i’ll hack this bank and wire myself 10 grand’ or that sort of thing. Everyone has flaws, maybe have the character reach out to a wider group for assistance or guidance or something?

  • #385489


    Not spending hours upon hours on recon and enumeration to find a foothold then countless more hours working an exploit chain and several lateral pivots to get to something useful. Pffffffft.

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