Cyber Night At The Oscars

It’s been a big movie season, despite the ever-changing role of movie theaters, those large boxes of booming sound and melted butter. With awards season fully underway, it’s time to celebrate the cybersecurity variations of the famous movies and actors, the ones where costume directors get an award for best-placed pocket protector or best use of horn-rimmed eyeglasses in a romantic setting by an actor with an IQ above 125. You know the ones.

The first nominee is “Lady Bird,” the compelling story of a California-based hacktivist who uses social engineering techniques — and a seemingly natural state of angst — to breach the admissions database of several East Coast colleges, while her mother presents an emotional firewall that no malware could ever penetrate.

Second, there is “Get Out,” a clever little story about a line of code that is unlike the rest of the program he’s been invited to play a part in. He doesn’t recognize at first the signs of rejection put forth by the viruses and malware that surround him until it becomes abundantly clear that, in a reversal of typical roles, the white hat hackers mean to eradicate the black hat hackers.

Third, “The Shape of Water” is a cyberthriller that draws an innocent software engineer into a relationship with a five-dimensional, shape-shifting hologram that only she understands. Bureaucrats and academics rally around her to no avail, as their efforts to research the strange phenomenon only drive her deeper into the ether and the madness.

These are only three of the nominees, but as you can tell, popular culture is paying a lot of attention to cybersecurity these days. And if they are, shouldn’t you?

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