“the first major motion picture to accurately portray a hack”

By Deane Barker on October 16, 2007

Matrix Sequel Has Hacker Cred: An old article, but one I’d missed up until now: apparently “The Matrix Reloaded” contains the rarest of cinematic rarities — an accurate hack attempt.

An Nmap port scan is a common prelude to an intrusion attempt — a way of casing the joint, to find out if any vulnerable service are running.

That’s exactly how the fictional Trinity uses it. In a sequence that flashes on screen for a few scant seconds, the green phosphor text of Trinity’s computer clearly shows Nmap being run against the IP address, and finding an open port number 22, correctly identified as the SSH service used to log into computers remotely.

“I was definitely pretty excited when I saw it,” says “Fyodor,” the 25-year-old author of Nmap. “I think compared to previous movies that had any kind of hacking content, you could generally assume it’s going to be some kind of stupid 3D graphics show.”

Here’s an image of the scene.