White House Down: Hacker blows up the US Government… in the movies

It’s great that we can rely upon Hollywood to present the threats posed by hacking in a serious, level-headed way.


That’s the trailer for “White House Down”, a new action flick from “Independence Day” director Roland Emmerich, where it appears a hacker manages to blow up.. well.. some old buildings with important people inside.

Jamie Foxx is the US President this time. I guess Harrison Ford is getting too old, or was unavailable due to needing to get his diamond ear-stud polished or taking Calista Flockhart out for a burger.

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Forget the Stuxnet worm, which simply tried to meddle with the rotor speed of centrifuges at an Iran’s nuclear facility in Natanz. This time hackers are blowing the wings off Air Force One mid-flight, and exploding the US Capitol building, home of the American government.

Of course, a single hacker needs dozens of monitors in his computer den to do this, and sexy electric blue lighting.

Hackers in the movies

Long gone, it seems, are the days of hackers being nerds hiding out in their back bedrooms, waiting for their mum to call up and tell them their dinner is on the table.

Emmerich, of course, has previous for attacking the White House. Ironically, on that occasion the bad guys were *beaten* by a Mac virus uploaded by Jeff Goldblum.

If only the US government had installed that Java patch, maybe none of this would have happened.

What’s your favourite movie featuring hackers, and why? Leave a comment below so we can all have a good giggle.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

One comment on “White House Down: Hacker blows up the US Government… in the movies”

  1. Hey, looks like a twist on Die Hard – may be worth a watch. My favourite Hacker movie, Swordfish with Hugh Jackman been pleasured whilst breaking into the FBI. Although, its really because Halle Berry looks amazing!

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