Xbox hacking has made it to the silver screen, and Felix Domke and me (Michael Steil) are movie stars! …and so are at least 14 of my presentation slides!
This a picture from the Julian Assange and Wikileaks movie The Fifth Estate (2013), starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Brühl, directed by Bill Condon:
“Linux is Inevitable”? Sounds like something I would say. In fact, looks like a slide from my presentation at the 24th Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin in December 2007:
Coincidence? Let’s get some context. The scene in the movie is indeed set at the 24th Chaos Communication Congress (24C3), where Julian Assange (Cumberbatch) presents his vision about Wikileaks in the break between two talks. From the movie’s screenplay (ironically leaked by Wikileaks):
OTTO I'm afraid the small conference rooms are all booked. DANIEL (off the schedule) What about the auditorium? It's empty 'til the X-Box Security talk.
At the 24C3, Felix Domke and me indeed presented Why Silicon-Based Security is still that hard: Deconstructing Xbox 360 Security on day 2 at 16:00 in the main auditorium. (In reality, Julian Assange did not present in the main auditorium, but in a workshop area.)
To one side of the stage, THE NEXT SPEAKER sets up a few deconstructed X-BOX 360s beside a CORKBOARD covered with exhibits for his talk: 'Deconstructing Xbox 360 Security.'
To be clear: These are pictures from the movie, not actual pictures from the conference. They really deconstructed an Xbox 360 for the movie!
Daniel, also on stage, watches as Julian pulls out a WAD of TWINE, moves to the corkboard.
The X-Box guy looks up, CONCERNED, as Julian wraps the twine around a PUSH PIN holding up part of the X-Box exhibit, STRINGING THE TWINE to another pin holding up another part.
Julian POINTS to the two pins and the twine. ILLUSTRATING. JULIAN (CONTINUED) Two people and a secret. The beginning of any conspiracy, of all corruption. As it grows... Daniel watches, RIVETED, as Julian STRETCHES the twine to another pin. And another. And another...
JULIAN (CONTINUED) More people... and more secrets. CLOSE ON THE BOARD as Julian RAPIDLY RUNS TWINE AROUND PINS, ensnaring more of the exhibit in his web. It's MESMERIZING.
JULIAN (CONTINUED) But. If we can find one moral man, one whistleblower... Julian focuses on a PIN at the CENTER of his web of twine. CLOSE ON THE PIN as he LOOPS MORE TWINE AROUND IT... JULIAN (CONTINUED) Someone willing to expose these secrets -- Julian PULLS THE TWINE TAUT... then YANKS THE CENTER PIN... PULLING THE TWINE SO THAT ALL THE PINS POP OUT OF THE BOARD. THE FLYERS FALL, SCATTERING ALL AROUND JULIAN.
JULIAN (CONTINUED) That man... can topple the most repressive of regimes. Julian pins a WIKILEAKS FLYER on the NOW EMPTY CORKBOARD. X BOX GUY Was zur hoelle!
JULIAN And there's the problem. Retribution. X BOX GUY Otto, my talk is in ten minutes. The X-Box guy, PISSED, looks to Otto who's with a CUTE HACKER GIRL in back of the EMPTY AUDITORIUM, maybe A DOZEN HACKERS.
In the movie, the “Xbox Guy” actually shouts “What the hell!” with a German accent.
I assume the person with the voltmeter is supposed to be Felix, and the angry German with the long hair (called “Game Console Hacker” in the credits, played by Christoph Franken) is supposed to be me.
On the corkboard in the movie, there are about two dozen printed slides.
This is a reconstructed version created from many individual frames of the scene:
It looks like the “Xbox Guy” is named “Denis Schnegg”, and the name of the talk is “Hacking Game Consoles”.
Most slides I could decipher are direct copies from slides from either our 24C3 talk, or our Google Tech Talk in 2008. Here are the screen captures of the slides in the movie, and the corresponding slides from our talks:
|1||24c3, slide 6|
|2||Google, slide 6|
|3||24c3, slide 8|
|4||24c3, slide 7|
|5||Google, slide 24|
|6||Google, slide 26|
|7||Google, slide 28|
|8||Google, slide 36|
|9||Google, slide 8|
|10||Google, slide 9|
|11||Google, slide 15|
|12||Google, slide 11|
|13||Google, slide 14|
|25||24c3, slide 2|
For reference, here are the full presentations the scene in the movie is based on:
Why Silicon-Based Security is still that hard: Deconstructing Xbox 360 Security (24C3)
The Xbox 360 Security System and its Weaknesses (Google TechTalk)
And since the producers of the movie consider it fair use to copy 14 of my slides without giving me credit, it must also be fair use to quote the scene of the movie here:
If you manage to decipher more slides, please post a comment.
P.S.: This dialog was cut from the movie:
JULIAN (CONTINUED) Look at them. Useless idiots, cracking X-Boxes, building antennae out of Pringles cans, probably spending all their free time reading Neuromancer and playing Call of Cthulhu. What a waste.