Sometimes I get irritated at the TV programs that show how geeks can hack into anything in no time flat. It takes me forever to find anything on the internet and to download a program. Maybe hackers are that fast, but I think the screenwriters exaggerate. Here a little script to demonstrate what I mean.
SUPERCOP: Someone just tried to break into Fort Knox and steal all the gold.
SUPERGEEK: Any clues?
SUPERCOP: No, not really. He was stopped at the gate. He dropped this when he ran. Not sure what it is.
SUPERGEEK (Takes the item and examines it under a microscope): It appears to be a garage door opener. This is great. We can track him with this.
SUPERCOP: What? How?
SUPERGEEK: Well, all remote garage door openers operate on a radio frequency. All I need to do is reprogram the opener, and I can hack into his computer using his Wi-Fi freq.
SUPERCOP: But don’t you need to know the frequency of the remote?
SUPERGEEK: No problem. Remotes have a limited number of frequencies; ten or twelve. I’ll just try them all until I find the right one.
SUPERCOP: But if the remote is so common, there must be millions of them.
SUPERGEEK: 25 million of this brand and model, to be exact, but we know he just was at Fort Knox, so he must live in a 200-mile radius.
SUPERCOP: Even so, you’re going to hack into thousands of home computers. That will take hours.
SUPERGEEK: Not so. I just search for key words on all computers. Words like crime, Fort Knox, robbery, etc.
SUPERCOP: But won’t that take hours?
SUPERGEEK: No. There, I’m done. There’s your guy. (hands Supercop a printout.) He used map program to get directions. I just reversed the directions. Here you go. Go get him, Tiger. Oh, you may want to call the news. I may have opened all the overhead doors in a 250-mile radius.