Cybercrime and Social Engineering in WHO AM I, ETTOR NOLLOR et al

Cinema goes real on Hackers - get your info wrapped into entertainment

Tom Schilling in WHO AM I hacking the BND - and not remotely, but hands on

10. Zurich Film Festival gave us insight into cybercrime at an unprecedented level.

Gustaf Skarsgård as Karl, complaining to his wife (Photo: Gota Film)
Gustaf Skarsgård as Karl, complaining to his wife (Photo: Gota Film)

Swedish TV-Miniseries ETTOR NOLLOR –  meaning “zeroes and ones”, a binary code if I ever saw one – is a veritable thriller in the heart of Göteborg. ETTOR NOLLOR had a hacker at its core, and it showed relentlessly how hacking is interconnected with real, petty crime. And how it transcends it. The idealistic ending is social fiction to me, I rather believe in greed as a prime mover for any such endeavours.

However, it is German box office hit WHO AM I – NO SYSTEM IS SAFE by Sony Pictures Entertainment, which shows hackers at work, but not only at computers. No! Those guys – among them a belligerent Wotan Wilke Möhring – are quite literally scouring paper waste bins (a very realistic take on industry espionage) and they use the info about real people to get into “safe” systems. At one point we see Max (a brilliant Elyas M’Barek in one of his darker roles) exploiting the gullibility of people in real life, bumming doughnuts from a fast food seller (Stichwort: Social Engineering). Pure genius: The visualization of private chatrooms as a subway train in a tunnel recalls the real VPN-tunnel systems created to undermine net restrictions. And I bet it’s no coincidence that Tom Schilling looks quite like Julian Assange in the last minutes of WHO AM I – KEIN SYSTEM IST SICHER. In my opinion, WHO AM I should be shown and discussed in school classes, universities and Volkshochschulen alike.

The documentary wants to "educate the world" about Bitcoin and sell his film here at
The documentary wants to “educate the world” about Bitcoin and sell the film here at

And then there were the documentaries, like BITCOIN. Much to learn, much to process, a lot to wonder about. And the cyber world is constantly changing. Be watchful. And don’t forget: it’s much easier to manipulate people than to hack systems. And both strategies go hand in hand. No wonder that the greediest people involved in Bitcoin distribution are now in jail.

About Elisabeth Schabus 477 Articles
I see, I like, I write ... mostly about cinema and actors, but also about politics or economy. In English, auf Deutsch, på svenska. This ORF trained news journalist (TV, radio), who has also worked in corporate publishing for international brands and written/edited tons of magazines, has become a blogger out of passion.

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