Hack the System: Unveiling Cybersecurity Secrets through Documentaries

Hack the System: Unveiling Cybersecurity Secrets through Documentaries

Realm Hacking

13 min read

Yo, cyber sleuth! Ready to jack into the hacker realm? This list ain't your regular code – it's the elite script of hacker lore. From console cowboys to keyboard warriors, from white hats to black hats, we're decoding it all. And hey, I've got mad skills in curating the perfect docu-dive. This lineup? It's the stuff hackers rave about. So, boot up, connect, and let's surf the digital wave through their lens. Get set for a byte-sized, high-octane cyber quest!

Why Documentaries and not Movies?

The choice to focus on documentaries about hackers rather than movies is grounded in the pursuit of authenticity and depth of understanding. Documentaries offer a window into the real world of cybersecurity, providing insights that are often grounded in fact and driven by actual events. They delve deep into the complexities of the subject, offering nuanced perspectives that are usually absent in fictionalized movie portrayals. When you embrace the hacker culture you need to be aware of all that is hacking, the leaders, the movements, the followers, the villains, the heroes, the beliefs.
Certainly, movies serve as an excellent introduction to the topic – there's no denying that! As an avid film junkie, I appreciate their blend of action, drama, and excitement, often sprinkled with elements of real-life truths. This is why I am currently maintaining a movie list in Sudorealm: Best movies for Hackers.

hack the planet

But... Most of the time is nothing but pure ol' classic fiction. The hackers are teenage typing machines and they use flashy keyboards while wearing black hoodies and V masks, hacking their way through extremely secure bank networks without even having to leave their chairs. I mean... if you are a penetration testing professional, is almost an insult.

I mean... NCIS Hacking Scene. Come on now! WTF is this? Multi-hand hacking through the same keyboard? Really!???

But hey, we like that, it's cool! The rush you get while watching these films may even get you hyped and all excited about hacking. But you should also find out what a real hacker looks like.

Thus you advance to the next level of intellectual hacking entertainment, Documentaries.

This short Countdown list is for the impatient:

Terms and Conditions may Apply

terms and conditions may apply documentary

A documentary that exposes what corporations and governments learn about people through Internet and cell phone usage, and what can be done about it ... if anything.
The story is as old as time. Big whales know everything. But this documentary made me feel so stupid for all these countless accepts I have clicked in the past and for all the unavoidable accepts I am still clicking today.

A good start for this Documentary Trip!

The Great Hack

The Great Hack Poster

Explore how a data company named Cambridge Analytica came to symbolize the dark side of social media in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

A 6 year Leap to 2019 and we witness the power of data with this great Documentary! The Great Hack shows us how an organization with the right amount of data can easily “hack” masses and determine Democratic decisions by beautifully crafting short and to-the-point advertisements! You will be shocked by this... I hope you were not a part of the Hacked ones.

The Social Dilemma

The Social Dilemma documentary poster

For those in the hacking and cybersecurity community, 'The Social Dilemma' is a must-watch documentary that shifts the narrative from traditional concepts of system hacking to the more nuanced and significant issue of manipulating human minds through social media.

'The Social Dilemma' is an essential watch for anyone in the digital domain, offering a vital perspective on the power and responsibility that accompanies technological expertise. This documentary is more than just an exploration of digital trends; it serves as an urgent call to action for hackers to recognize the profound effects of their work in a world increasingly influenced by digital interconnectivity and psychological persuasion.


Citizenfour Poster

The NSA's illegal surveillance techniques were leaked to the public by one of the agency's employees, Edward Snowden, in the form of thousands of classified documents distributed to the press.

This is one of my favorites. The Oscar-winning, real-life thriller Citizenfour is a real nail-biter, giving us the moments of Snowden’s life after being declared a wanted man by the NSA.
The message of this Documentary is as clear as ice. All you need to do is hop in.

Defcon: The Documentary

Defcon: The Documentary

DEFCON is the world's largest hacking conference, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2012 it was held for the 20th time. The conference has strict no-filming policies, but for DEFCON 20, a documentary crew was allowed full access to the event. The film follows the four days of the conference, the events, and people (attendees and staff), and covers the history and the philosophy behind DEFCON's success and unique experience.

Get a glimpse of the magic of the hacking community!

I'll never forget the time I found out about DEFCON. GOD was I excited, I wanted to be a part of this spectacular event so badly that I told myself that I would never stop hacking until I got an invitation or made the money for the ticket!

I hope you too share my excitement.

TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard

TPB AFK Poster

An intellectual freedoms documentary based on the interpersonal triumphs, and defeats of the three main characters against the largest industry in the known universe. The media industry.

Do you know The Pirate Bay? Do you know who made it? Do you know what these guys had to give up just so you can download your favorite movie or game? Do I need to keep going?

Go to a Pirate Bay proxy, install a free VPN, and download this Documentary.

Deep Web: Story of the Silk Road

Deep Web Poster

A feature documentary that explores the rise of a new Internet; decentralized, encrypted, dangerous, and beyond the law; with particular focus on the FBI capture of the Tor hidden service Silk Road, and the judicial aftermath.

Plainly interesting for everyone, especially hackers. Why especially hackers you ask? Don’t you want to know how a guy behind numerous layers of masked IPs got caught? I would be extremely interested to find out all about it.

Also, we live in the world of cryptos, crypto this, crypto that, we have cryptos named after memes for god’s sake. Well, the underground black hat hackers, the online drug dealers, and the criminals of the underworld had a playground. Its name? Silk Road. The online onion-routed marketplace is hidden deeply inside the gutters of an unknown internet world where one could easily give Bitcoins and buy anything or even… anyone. ta da daaaaaa!

Shiny_Flakes The Teenage Drug Lord

Shiny Flakes The Teenage Drug Lord Netflix Documentary poster

Maximilian Schmidt was just 19 years old when he realized there was some serious money to be made online selling drugs.

When you are a kid, you really believe that nothing can hurt you, what can go wrong right? I am smarter than anyone, you think to yourself... Why not throw around in the wild a WordPress site and sell drugs...
To be honest with you, this Documentary was enjoyable, but in my humble opinion there are a bunch of holes in Schmidt's story, I mean... can you really do all this hustle by yourself? Can you really store more than 100 kgs of very illegal drugs in your room without your mom EVER noticing anything unusual?

CYBERBUNKER: The Criminal Underworld

CYBERBUNKER: The Criminal Underworld poster

This documentary led me to deeply examine my ethics in hacking and beyond. It really made me take a hard look in the mirror and decide whether I agreed with what the main characters advocated or not. You'll understand what I mean once you see it for yourselves.

Cyberbunker: The Criminal Underworld" is a riveting documentary that delves into the shadowy world of cybercrime. Set against the backdrop of a former NATO bunker in Germany, this film unravels the complex operations of the 'Cyberbunker' - a notorious data center alleged to have hosted a range of illegal activities, from the sale of drugs and weapons to the distribution of child pornography. The documentary provides an unprecedented look into how this bunker, operated under the guise of a legitimate data haven, became a hub for dark web activities. Through interviews with law enforcement officials, cybersecurity experts, and insiders, the film explores the intricate network of digital crime and the challenges faced in combating it. It's a gripping tale that not only exposes the underbelly of the internet but also raises critical questions about the ethics and implications of digital privacy and security.

We are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists

We are Legion Poster

A documentary on the workings and beliefs of the self-described "hacktivist" collective, Anonymous.

Ooooh!!! Now we dive into the faces of hacking, Anonymous. Everybody has heard about them and everyone wants to join them, but what if I told you that you are already them? You will find out what I am talking about by watching this very cool Documentary about the Anonymous hacktivists and their work.

Let me end this with a movie quote:

Beneath this mask, there is more than flesh, beneath this mask there is an idea, and ideas are bulletproof

Freedom Downtime (2001)

Freedom Downtime Poster

A feature-length documentary about the Free Kevin movement and the hacker world.

Have you heard about a guy called Kevin Mitnick? No…? He got jailed for hacking.

Oh yeah… I forgot to mention that while this guy, oops miss clicked, while this GOD was behind bars he was forbidden from accessing any payphone, yeap, payphone! Because the judge was convinced that Kevin was able to whistle codes and start a Nuclear War. I am not joking. Start with this Documentary then read his book Ghost in the Wires. You are in for a treat.

Get your hands on his book with all the crazy details about his adventures: Ghost In The Wires

The Hacker Wars

The hacker wars poster

A gripping documentary that takes you deep into the heart of the digital battleground. This film uncovers the high-stakes world of hacker activism, focusing on the lives and struggles of hackers who challenge governmental and corporate powers. It's a raw, eye-opening journey that explores the impact of information warfare and the thin line between chaos and justice in the digital age. As you watch, you'll be captivated by the intensity of this cyber struggle and the compelling stories of those who dare to expose secrets and fight for transparency. A must-watch for anyone fascinated by the intersection of technology, politics, and activism.

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

The internet's own boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz poster

The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26. Web feed RSS, the Markdown publishing format, the organization Creative Commons, web-py, and the news site Reddit are a few of Aaron’s children. I don’t know where to start. He was a Harvard fellow researcher, hacked MIT, and is a member of the Internet Hall of Fame. This genius took his own life.

This Documentary amazed me and made me feel inspired but also created an emotional hole. It gives a portrait of a brilliant, driven, and passionate young man who is currently one of the iconic figures of the Internet community.

Zero Days: STUXNET Virus

Zero Days poster

A documentary focused on Stuxnet, a piece of self-replicating computer malware that the U.S. and Israel unleashed to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility, and which ultimately spread beyond its intended target.

A zero-day vulnerability is a computer-software vulnerability that is unknown to, or unaddressed by, those who should be interested in mitigating the vulnerability.

The USA and Israeli governments gathered up a super team of hackers to code malware to f*cking cause an explosion in an Iranian nuclear plant. This really happened.
How can this Documentary not be the first choice?

🎥🎬 For the Hardcore Hacker Movie Fans

I know for a fact that more documentaries should be included in the list! But I haven't seen them yet! And since I am planning to keep updating this list I will include them when I see them. 🤓😏

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