Usage of computers in the movies. Some get it wrong. The Matrix and Tron Legacy are the exceptions.

Posted: September 13, 2012. At: 9:41 PM. This was 5 years ago. Post ID: 4562

Matrix reloaded nmap usage. This is correct.
Matrix reloaded nmap usage. This is correct.

The usage of computers in movies has always been quite hit and miss. The Matrix Reloaded movie had realistic depictions of the usage of the NMAP port scanning command and the use of the ssh command to login remotely to the target machine and execute commands to shutdown the power plants to buy the keymaster enough time so that Neo could visit the Architect. The ssh port scanner command is very useful for analysing a local or remote machine for open ports that could be a security hole. The nmap security scanner is a very popular tool to check machines; but it is used by malicious people as well. The point though is that once you have secured your machine and you have implemented a proper security procedure to deal with unwarranted intrusions, the threat posed by the many Internet threats that are growing day-to-day should not be the danger that the media dramatizations make it out to be. The Matrix movie was quite an amazing cinematic experience when it was first released; the idea of a virtual reality world inhabited by the collective consciousness of humanity that are unaware that the entire world is just a simulation is something that could be a reality; but the unbearable fact is that the humans could be nothing but a brain in a jar and they would have no body and nothing to escape the Matrix in.

Matrix ssh login to the Matrix computers.
Matrix ssh login to the Matrix computers.

using the nmap commands used in the Matrix movie in real life results in a useful output. This command is used against the website and it seems to be running on the super secure OpenBSD UNIX operating system. The sshnuke command Trinity used to break into the UNIX servers in the movie was a program she wrote herself using a known exploit present in the ssh package at that time. Some movies show ridiculous things on computers; the Tron Legacy movie with the ENCOM UNIX operating system that the company developed was another movie that got the use of computers right. The ps -ef and kill -9 commands are correct; the computer user is trying to stop a malicious program that is running on a UNIX computer using a cool touch keyboard. This keyboard has been built using what looks like two iPads; quite an expensive keyboard indeed, unless you work at Apple. But it is a similar concept, but I prefer a proper keyboard. The project used the create the Tron Legacy touch keyboard is available and worth trying if you have the hardware. Now all you need is the leaked ENCOM operating system and you are good to go.

flynn-grid-runner ~ # nmap -v -sS -O

Starting Nmap 5.21 ( ) at 2012-09-13 20:27 EST
Initiating Ping Scan at 20:27
Scanning [4 ports]
Completed Ping Scan at 20:27, 0.18s elapsed (1 total hosts)
Initiating Parallel DNS resolution of 1 host. at 20:27
Completed Parallel DNS resolution of 1 host. at 20:27, 0.00s elapsed
Initiating SYN Stealth Scan at 20:27
Scanning ( [1000 ports]
Discovered open port 80/tcp on
Discovered open port 443/tcp on
Discovered open port 843/tcp on
Completed SYN Stealth Scan at 20:28, 57.56s elapsed (1000 total ports)
Initiating OS detection (try #1) against (
Retrying OS detection (try #2) against (
Nmap scan report for (
Host is up (0.23s latency).
Not shown: 997 filtered ports
80/tcp  open  http
443/tcp open  https
843/tcp open  unknown
Warning: OSScan results may be unreliable because we could not find at least 1 open and 1 closed port
Device type: general purpose
Running (JUST GUESSING) : OpenBSD 4.X (85%)
Aggressive OS guesses: OpenBSD 4.3 (85%)
No exact OS matches for host (test conditions non-ideal).
Uptime guess: 0.000 days (since Thu Sep 13 20:28:13 2012)
TCP Sequence Prediction: Difficulty=261 (Good luck!)
IP ID Sequence Generation: All zeros

Read data files from: /usr/share/nmap
OS detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at .
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 65.01 seconds
           Raw packets sent: 2096 (95.812KB) | Rcvd: 63 (3420B)
flynn-grid-runner ~ #

The ps -ef command used in Tron Legacy. This is what it does on my machine; looking for all instances of su.

flynn-grid-runner ~ # ps -ef | grep su
root        25     2  0 Sep12 ?        00:00:00 [sync_supers]
root      3010     1  0 Sep12 ?        00:00:18 /sbin/mount.ntfs /dev/sda1 /media/Elements -o rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks,uid=1000,gid=1000,dmask=0077,fmask=0177
root     11005     1  0 19:46 ?        00:00:02 /sbin/mount.ntfs /dev/sdi1 /media/Ubuntu 11.04 i386 -o rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks,uid=1000,gid=1000,dmask=0077,fmask=0177
root     11334 10791  0 19:52 pts/0    00:00:00 sudo su -
root     11339 11334  0 19:53 pts/0    00:00:00 su -
root     11347 11339  0 19:53 pts/0    00:00:00 -su
root     12051 11347  0 21:06 pts/0    00:00:00 grep --colour=auto su
flynn-grid-runner ~ #

More reading here: here.

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