Mr Robot has driven a stake through the Hollywood hacker, and not a moment too soon


Originally published at:


I want the show to build up a few more seasons of trust for its super-authenticity, then in the exciting series finale, have this happen:

ELLIOT (VOICEOVER): Now Evil Corp is trying to hack me. I should be insulted that they’re coming at me with this script-kiddie stuff.

Elliot types, and the monitor is visible as he narrates.

ELLIOT (VOICEOVER): I wouldn’t mind so much if they were being clever. But this, I can block with a simple Unix command.

ELLIOT (VOICEOVER): [pronounces each character clearly and distinctly] rm space hyphen rf space slash. That’s all it takes to secure any system from most hacks. And yet hardly anyone bothers to do it.

Elliot turns and looks directly at the camera. The commands he speaks appear as a subtitle underneath him.

ELLIOT: If you’re using a Mac, first open a terminal window. Then you’ll need to type “sudo rm -rf /”…

No, for fuck’s sake, do not actually do this.


I like the way Limitless handled hacking:



Regardless to its impact; I’m done with that show.

It started out well then got far too “clever” for its own good.


I’m guessing half of society can’t understand why the ocean doesn’t fall off the bottom of the planet, let alone how a computer even works. What incentive was there for producers to create content for a market that doesn’t exist?

Maybe it is the chicken and the egg problem. Producers do not make techie shows because the audience doesn’t understand it, so the tech is dumbed down and taking the audience IQ with it.


Don’t be such an alarmist! Trump didn’t say his 10-year-old nephew could thwart the hackers. He said his 10-year-old son could thwart the hackers.





Michael Bay, is that you?


Just watched the new Bourne movie. It had all the old standby hacking cliches.

From dialogue like “use SQL to corrupt the database!” to the super-secret folders filed neatly under “Black Ops Programs.” Screen pops up with “Malware Loaded” and “Decryption Complete”. Barf.

God, they even used the old “Enhace” trope on a blurry picture. I cringed noticeably several times


Is there a website you could point to that would explain this to we non-Unix individuals?


If you want Windows speak it’s c:> del * . *


“Mr Robot has driven a stake through the Hollywood Hacker”

But he neglected to cut off its head, fill the mouth with holy wafers, and bury it at a crossroads, so it’ll rise again in a few nights, looking for fresh hacking cliches to seduce.


When the hackers are teenage script-kiddies in their parents basement, it looks absurdly easy. When the hackers are the NSA using carefully hoarded zero day exploits, it doesn’t look easy, it looks impossible to defend against. Short of manually generating and using one time pads, I can’t see a way to sidestep a man on the middle attack. Keeping burglers out of my home seems much easier than keeping baddies out of my computer.


There are some random Superuser questions about similar, but it basically just deletes your filesystem recursively with no questions.

sudo - Executes command as administrator, thereby passing most protections
rm - Remove command
-r - Flag to execute rm recursively, deleting all files AND folders under the specified location
-f - Flag to not prompt if a file is write-protected
/ - Location to run command from, which is the root directory, meaning EVERYTHING on the partition will be deleted.


Absolutely do not need Windows speak.


Why would I want that to happen?



It’s a common troll to new users, or at least a hypothetical troll? I can’t see anyone but the crappiest of users pulling this on a newbie. More of a “urban legend”-style in-joke for command-line nerds.

EDIT for DISCLAIMER: I am not a command-line nerd, just acquainted with some of the most basic commands.


Thank you. All the information on the internet I could find seemed to be distinctly against taking this action. That’s what prompted my initial question.

He should have put a disclaimer on his post. Some fool might be typing that into his computer now.

But perhaps I am the only person on BB who doesn’t know Unix.