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James Bond Film Skyfall Inspired By Stuxnet Virus 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the license-to-kill() dept.
Velcroman1 writes "No smartphones. No exploding pens. No ejector seats. No rocket-powered submarines. 'It's a brave new world,' gadget-maker Q tells James Bond in the new film Skyfall. The new film, released on the 50th anniversary of the storied franchise, presents a gadget-free Bond fighting with both brains and brawn against a high-tech villain with computer prowess Bill Gates would be envious of. What inspired such a villain? 'Stuxnet,' producer Michael G. Wilson said. 'There is a cyberwar that has been going on for some time, and we thought we'd bring that into the fore and let people see how it could be going on.'"
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James Bond Film Skyfall Inspired By Stuxnet Virus

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  • Poison? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Is it really necessary to prove it's possible to ruin a James Bond movie by taking all of the fun out of it?

    • by jandersen (462034)

      Is it really necessary to prove it's possible to ruin a James Bond movie by taking all of the fun out of it?

      On the other hand, this is the first Bond movie I have actually enjoyed all the way through. None of the shallow crap from the previous movies about gambling and drinking heavily being 'suave' whatever the hell that means, or a completely unbelieveable storyline. And the actors seem to be genuinely able to act as well.

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:57PM (#41910441) Homepage

    I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying this -- there's ~30 minutes of ads before the movie even starts. Not coming attractions, not "go buy some popcorn," but television-style ads for products.

    Seems MI6 has been hit hard by austerity!

    • by fm6 (162816)

      Well, you can always come 20 minutes after the announced showtime. When you rent it on disc, you'll get the same half hour of ads, and they'll disable fast-forward to make you watch it.

      A clever person can get around this crap, but the sheer arrogance of an industry that wants to treat you like Alex being brainwashed [youtube.com] makes me crazy.

      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:34PM (#41910879) Homepage Journal

        Downloading from The Pirate Bay doesn't take a lot of smarts. Pay to watch ads, or see the movie for free without them? The industry is brain-dead, this is the kind of crap that drives people to the very piracy the industry hates and was the sort of thing DeCSS was written for.

        • Or if you want to support the artists (or, to be more correct, the god damn middlemen) you can buy this disk AND download it.

          • by fm6 (162816)

            I never buy disks for recent movies, so I don't actually know, but I can't believe they'd pull this no-FF crap on disks that were for sale. I've only ever noticed the issue on those gray rental-only discs you get from Redbox and Netflix.

        • by fm6 (162816)

          Last time I used Pirate Bay, I got a nasty email from my ISP. Not gonna do it again without a VPN account, and for the number of movies I watch, it's not worth the trouble.

          If you read my post all the way through, you'd have noticed the part where I said I could bypass the crap.

        • by tehcyder (746570)
          I've never bought (shock) a DVD that had non-skippable ads in. Is it a US thing? Are all the DVDs I've ever bought from Asda for my kids actually pirate copies stripped of DRM?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Those ads are the cinema's, not the film studios. They show them from a separate reel.

      • by MrEricSir (398214)

        Again, I don't want to post any spoilers here, but the ads are most certainly attached to the film.

        You'll see. Or if not, you could google it.

        • by will_die (586523)
          Not with the English version I saw in Germany. No add besides the standard slideshow that are shown before all movies.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      That's not exactly new ... car commercials, coca cola, banks, cell phone companies ... all sorts of extra ads and crap has been shown before movies for quite some time.

  • BIND movies (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:00PM (#41910475)

    The name is BIND, James BIND

  • by schlachter (862210) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:00PM (#41910481)

    The "brave new world" is "smartphones" (and tablets, wifi, etc.)

  • by concealment (2447304) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:01PM (#41910489) Homepage Journal

    Can't wait for another stunning Hollywood interpretation of computer science. Maybe this time when he flies up to the spaceship and hacks it with his MacBook, it will show a virus check on screen and tell us that it's the Matrix.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:30PM (#41910833)

      How often do we see someone being shot where they get thrown back and yet the shooter goes nowhere?

      Or where the bad-ass good guy walks away from an explosion that should have turned him into jelly?

      Or fighting on a floating piece of rock in a lava stream? AND they don't burst into flames themselves?

      Or spacecraft maneuvering like airplanes?

      And lastly, sound in space.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:30PM (#41910841)

      For what it's worth, ID4 does establish (in the second act, I believe?) that our technology is replicated from the alien designs. From a storytelling perspective, it's not much of a stretch, then, to make a "virus". Something that simply moves along byte by byte making copies of itself wouldn't be that difficult a thing to figure out, if you had access to one of their computers on the ground (Which they do, in Area 51) and it's further not much of a stretch to imagine that their admins might have left access a little *too* open.

      Sure, he's shown using his PowerBook running MacOS, but it's probably just a terminal window of sorts into the guts of the alien computer, because the PowerBook is designed for a human, and the alien systems are not.

      Most movie portrayals of computing are pretty far fetched, but this is one I'm actually willing to forgive. It doesn't seem implausible in the least to me that someone faced with impending annihilation would figure out how to do this. Hell, I bet the guys at Area 51 might have even had a compiler for the damn thing, they have had it for a few decades.

      • For what it's worth, ID4 does establish (in the second act, I believe?) that our technology is replicated from the alien designs. From a storytelling perspective, it's not much of a stretch, then, to make a "virus". Something that simply moves along byte by byte making copies of itself wouldn't be that difficult a thing to figure out, if you had access to one of their computers on the ground (Which they do, in Area 51) and it's further not much of a stretch to imagine that their admins might have left access a little *too* open.

        Sure, he's shown using his PowerBook running MacOS, but it's probably just a terminal window of sorts into the guts of the alien computer, because the PowerBook is designed for a human, and the alien systems are not.

        Most movie portrayals of computing are pretty far fetched, but this is one I'm actually willing to forgive. It doesn't seem implausible in the least to me that someone faced with impending annihilation would figure out how to do this. Hell, I bet the guys at Area 51 might have even had a compiler for the damn thing, they have had it for a few decades.

        But you think they'd have closed that security hole in 50 years time. It's not like they were Microsoft....

        • Re:It has a PCI bus. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Psyborgue (699890) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:53PM (#41911683) Homepage Journal
          Depends. If you're civilization that's millions of years old that has encountered little, if any, resistance out of the countless conquered planets, you might actually become a bit overconfident and neglect to patch things on a timely basis.
          • Depends. If you're civilization that's millions of years old that has encountered little, if any, resistance out of the countless conquered planets, you might actually become a bit overconfident and neglect to patch things on a timely basis.

            More like they'd be mired in the red tape than overconfident...

        • by tragedy (27079)

          But you think they'd have closed that security hole in 50 years time. It's not like they were Microsoft....

          They were a telepathic species. It's quite possible that, in their society, there were no private thoughts. Given that, it's quite possible that they didn't even have any computer security to speak of.

          That's the justification I use anyway.

    • RISC architecture is going to change everything.
      RISC is good.
      ?????
      Hackers

      • by wed128 (722152)

        To be fair...it kinda did. Not to many CISC (to the metal) machines around anymore...

    • by Psyborgue (699890)
      It'd bad. It's really bad... but it's so bad it's actually funny this time. Just bring a friend and poke fun at it together.
  • Stupid Gadgets (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fm6 (162816)

    Even though I was 12 years old when I saw it, the ejector seat in Goldfinger impressed me as the dumbest gadget ever. "OK, Bond, we've killed two of your Bond Girls in absurd ways, now get in the back of this truck." "Oh gee, is it OK if I drive myself?" "OK, we'll have a henchman accompany you, just promise us you don't have an ejector seat."

    Even dumber (though more low tech) is the part where the limousine gets reduced to a metal cube for no obvious reason.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      You know, for all the old nostalgia about old movies and all the crap we give new ones, I think this is a golden age. Even 5 or 10 years ago I never had access to so many unique films from around the globe. There are more people making smarter, better-acted movies than ever.

      And since we're on James Bond, I'll even speak up for today's blockbusters; the huge sums spent on making films today *does* create a bigger stage. I re-watched Avatar the other night. I know the plot bothers people but, man, I ju

      • I'd strongly disagree on Avatar.

        They used a lot of resources creating a world, and forgot to make it interesting or have a story. For all the CG effort on that movie, they still didn't come up with anything that isn't roundly trounced by many real world locations in terms of spectacle. Technically impressive yes - but ultimately pretty dull.

        • Floating islands?
          • Could have been great, but they botched the presentation. Standing on top of a very high thing looks quite similar up close. But it's a mash of problems really - you can make pretty mundane stuff look amazing if your script and presentation is solid - science fiction has been doing this for years. The problem with Avatar is they had all this technology and money, but then basically decided to slack off on everything else.

            Which is sad - because the original script treatment, while still having it's problems,

      • by fm6 (162816)

        I don't share your love of Avatar (well made, but too long, and there's something lame about the save-the-earth preachiness in a movie that's at the center of a billion-dollar marketing effort), but I agree that this is a great time to be a movie buff. As you say, the access is mind-boggling.

    • by plover (150551)

      Bond films were generally filled with stupid gadgets. The Roger Moore era was particularly straining of whatever willing suspension of disbelief I was able to muster, from the gadgets to the villains, to the very worst of the worst, Jaws the Henchman.

      Where the Bond films always shined brightest was in their exotic locales, the beautiful women, and the chase scenes. The location shots were always gorgeous, and watching one was like taking an exciting vacation. But the soundstage shots were generally paint

      • by oodaloop (1229816)
        Yeah, the hotel in the desert strained the bounds of credulity. Were hydrogen fuel cells really more effective than, I dunno, solar panels?
      • It's been out for a couple of weeks in the UK and I've seen it twice. In terms of Batman metaphors, If QoS is Batman Forever, Casino Royale is The Dark Knight and Skyfall is the Dark Knight Rises.
  • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) * on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:32PM (#41910859) Journal

    Oh, so the villain in this movie goes *further* than creating a monopoly, using its power to force suppliers to put competitors out of business, using a file-system hack to implement long filenames, having Notepad write a BOM to UTF-8 files, and, finally, choosing Ballmer to run the business into the ground?

    How will Bond ever defeat a villain with such technical skill?

    • Oh, so the villain in this movie goes *further* than creating a monopoly, using its power to force suppliers to put competitors out of business, using a file-system hack to implement long filenames, having Notepad write a BOM to UTF-8 files, and, finally, choosing Ballmer to run the business into the ground?

      How will Bond ever defeat a villain with such technical skill?

      By throwing a chair, duh.

  • New Bond? (Score:5, Funny)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:52PM (#41911079)

    Is Vladimir Putin still playing James Bond?

    We need a Bond that looks more like Bond and less like a Bond Villian.

    • Re:New Bond? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WankersRevenge (452399) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @07:20PM (#41913909)

      I had the pleasure of reading through all the Ian Flemming books last summer. They were really fun reads that hold up nicely (well, some of them do). I think it was The Spy Who Loved Me that really drives home the point about Bond And it's this -

      Bond is a villain. The only difference with him is that he's our villain.

      In such light, I think Daniel Craig looks perfect for the part. Just my two cents.

    • by SpzToid (869795)

      Larry Ellison? Oh wait.

  • by Antipater (2053064) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:06PM (#41911211)
    I seem to remember Bruce Willis doing this five years ago, against a Timothy Olyphant "who hacked the Pentagon with just a laptop!"

    I also seem to remember Jeff Goldblum disabling an entire civilization's computer system with a computer virus so that it could be destroyed by nuclear weapons, about sixteen years ago.

    A computer virus is a brave new world for filmmaking now?

    • by realsilly (186931)

      I seem to remember Bruce Willis doing this five years ago, against a Timothy Olyphant "who hacked the Pentagon with just a laptop!"

      I also seem to remember Jeff Goldblum disabling an entire civilization's computer system with a computer virus so that it could be destroyed by nuclear weapons, about sixteen years ago.

      A computer virus is a brave new world for filmmaking now?

      You mean in Die Hard 4, Die Harder? or Independence Day? Or The Net? or Hackers? etc....

      I remember in Die Hard 4, a computer virus made a house blow up! Does Skyfall one-up this?

  • I wonder how long it will take for Bethesda to start suing [tumblr.com] over the name, particularly when the inevitable video game comes out. I mean surely the typical gamer will confuse Skyfall with Bethesda's trademarks "Daggerfall" and "Skyrim".
  • by nimbius (983462) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:29PM (#41911423) Homepage

    state sponsored torture prisons? it was hollywoods job to normalize and flavor it for consumption by the american public using shows like 24.

    now we're getting to the point where "cyber" is the new war, and so it must be sold accordingly.

    • by Psyborgue (699890)
      24 Glorified torture? Really? Did you actually watch the whole of a season? The whole series? Bauer even becomes a fucking Muslim in the end and Islam is portrayed as a "religion of peace" framed for violence by a corrupt and conspiratorial US government. It even turns out the president plots to detonate WMDs on US soil to justify his wars. Defense contractors are portrayed as in a conspiracy to take over the country. It doesn't get any more ridiculously PC. The few instances in which torture is use
      • Coincidentally, the TV series ran from November 6, 2001 to May 24, 2010.

        Now... let's see... How did the political landscape change during that time. Hmmm...

        I feel there was some sort of shift in power. Some sort of fundamental change in focus. A target demographic finally getting a gripe and coming to the realization that the guy they were standing behind is royally fucking shit up. Or, at the very least, a writer or two in the depths of Hollywood seemed to think so.

        Wow, 192 episodes and eight seas
  • by Trevelyan (535381) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:43PM (#41911599)
    To enjoy the film, which I did, I had to actively ignore anything that was said in relational to IT. Something that I find hard to do.

    The concept behind the plot, while at the most extreme of technical possibility, was a valid idea to explore in a piece of fiction. The Iranians would likely have never detected stuxnet if its 'herders' had kept a better control on its spreading. Imagine something like that in a western government (as the victim). No, what annoyed me most is that they didn't even bother. Simply swapping some of the IT buzzwords in the script for ones that actually meant something in the given context, would have greatly improved its palatability. However that would mean employing someone with real IT knowledge on the writing team. Such a person might have gone insane or have made the script 'boring' with too much attention to accuracy, who knows.

    One theory I had when leaving the film, was that maybe the makers didn't want to give the general public any ideas or tips in how someone would go about achieving any of the anarchy portrayed in the film. The more misinformed about computer 'hacking' the safer we'll all be...
    • by GrahamCox (741991) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @06:07PM (#41913149) Homepage
      It's a long known observation that the more you know about something, the more errors you will see in someone else's version of that thing, e.g. news stories about something that happened to you or a friend.

      Accurate technical detail is usually too boring or irrelevant to most of the audience - look at Top Gear's version of The Sweeney car-chase with Clarkson's insistence on getting the technical detail correct that the Jag's traction control needed to be disabled and that in turn required holding down a button for 10 seconds. By showing what a movie would be like if they stuck to such facts, the showed (in an amusing way) why it is a very, very bad idea.
  • Did anyone else notice that when Bond figured out the encryption key was "Grandborough", there was a G in the hex dump? I hate when movies try to depict computer hacking/cracking in a movie, it's always completely dumb.
  • Okay a certain suspension of disbelief is necessary for a Bond movie. But it costs the movie makers next to nothing to make a movie which portrays computers software in a semi plausible way. But instead in Skyfall Q plugs the world's most dangerous hacker's computer straight into MI5's intranet, babbles through a jargon salad for a minute or so while watching moving nodes in a graph and a bunch of hex and then stares open mouthed as all the security doors open. This fuckup would fail the interview for any s
  • A totally ludicrous computer plot The entire computer "hacking" bits were totally ludicrous in the extreme. The head of Q Branch finds the villians laptop and plugs it into the MI5 network where it promptly takes control and blows up the gas boiler amoung other things. As for Stuxnet, only a f*****g moron would use Windows to power a nuclear centrefuge or plug a USB device into it.

    "The new film, released on the 50th anniversary of the storied franchise, presents a gadget-free Bond fighting with both br
  • Seriously, Craig is the worst James Bond ever. They might as well call it "James Bourne: The Spy with feelings" or something. There are other movies that provide entertainment as "cool_modern_realistic" action. I don't want that, many of my friends do not want that. There is no Bond cheese left. There are no cool villains. They played freaking poker in Casino Royal for 40 min. NO. James Bond comes to a casino, wins against the villain, takes his girl home. She dies in the morning. Die Hard 4 was more "hacke

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