Critics have praised Mr. Robot for depicting hackers realistically.

The USA Network’s debut show Mr. Robot is becoming a hit drama for a network that is better known for low-hanging programs like WWE Raw and Burn Notice. Critics have praised Mr. Robot for depicting hackers realistically. This encourages curious fans to research whether the show’s use of technology is accurate or not, in the same way Breaking Bad used chemistry to attract curious fans who want more out of their TV shows. Here is a sample of technology and skills used in Mr. Robot.

10FlexiSpy phone monitoring software

In Episode 3, Tyrell seduces an Ecorp assistant and downloads a spyware to his phone while he’s not looking. Tyrell swapped to a microSD card which had a sofware called FlexiSpy, which looks like a regular Software Update to inexperienced users. Other software like mSpy, Mobile Spy and PhoneSherrif can be installed on phones by people who want to monitor a phone’s calls, texts, emails, or GPS. Many require the person to have physical access to the phone they want to monitor. If police, a parent, a spouse, your boss, or a stranger ask to see your phone, It may be because they want download this software into your phone to monitor your activity.

9Bluejacking

In Episode 6, Elliot hacks the police cruiser’s keyboard wirelessly to get access to the prison’s electronic cell door system through their unencrypted 4G network. He finds the Bluetooth device on his phone, and uses a software on his laptop called BlueSniffer to identify and take over the keyboard, so he can enter an exploit into the car’s laptop and transmit to the police network.

8Multiblue USB Bluetooth Dongle

Along with BlueSniffer, Elliot uses a Multiblue USB bluetooth dongle to type on the police cruiser’s computer from his own laptop. This device is able to translate between different software and hardware that uses bluetooth to connect to other devices.

7Honeypot

Honeypot

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In Episode 8. The CEO of Allsafe proposes making a honeypot in the CS30 server that fsociety hacked in Episode 1. A honeypot is a part of a computer system that is kept open on purpose to trap, distract or monitor hackers who want to intrude.

6USB/CD with Malware

In Episode 6. Darlene downloads malware from a file sharing service for Elliot’s plan to hack the prison’s door control, and puts it onto a USB flashdrive that promises music gift cards. Her plan fails because the malware was detected by the police computer’s Avast! anti-virus software.

Elliot scold’s Darlene, asking “Since when did you become a script kiddie?” (A script kiddie is an inexperienced hacker who uses pre-coded software downloaded from the internet instead of skill)

Cisco has more success when he gave Ollie a hip hop mixtape with Dark Army malware that Angela ends up uploading to Allsafe’s servers.

5Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi B+ top” by Lucasbosch – Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

A major part of Elliot’s plan to take down Steel Mountain is to connect a hardware called Raspberry Pi into the facility’s air conditioning system. The Raspberry Pi is an affordable, credit-card sized computer that can be programmed and customized in many ways. It is often used to educate children and and beginners in computer science.

4Webcam Hacking

Both Elliot and Darlene’s ex-boyfriend invade people’s privacy by hacking into their webcams. Hacking into webcams is frighteningly easy. Mashable reported about a Russian website that streamed a gallery of videos from hacked or open webcams. Anyone who has something to hide should probably cover their webcam lens.

3Deepsound

Elliot saves the information on the people he hacks on CDs and hides them in a CD wallet under his desk. These CDs are labeled with popular music bands and album titles, but these are not just data CDs labeled with album titles. In Episode 8, Elliot uses a software called Deepsound to find out about his past on a CD without a label. This software hides data in audio files. If someone were to put one of Elliot’s CDs into a music player, it might actually play music. The data embedded in the music is only accessible through Deepsound’s decryption.

2Lockpicking

In Episode 3. Darlene breaks into Elliot’s apartment by taking apart the lock from the inside.

Lockpicking is a popular hobby among hackers because it is cheap, gives a good understating of security measures without having to study computer programming skills.

1Social engineering – old-fashioned persuasion

In many episodes of Mr. Robot, Elliot and other hackers rely on conning others to give up their private information. In Episode 1, Elliot speaks to “Michael Hansen” over the phone as a bank fraud worker. He later asks to use his phone on the street so he can find out information which can be used to blackmail him and get him to stop dating Krista.

Tyrell also tries to gain others’ trust in his rise to the top, when he seduces the assistant, intimidates the incoming CTO’s wife and tries to deflect suspicion from detectives.

While infiltrating Steel Mountain in Episode 5, fsociety makes a person named Sam Sepiol to gain access to secure levels. Elliot bullies a low-level associate while Mobley sends a fraudulent emotional text message to a high-level supervisor.

It’s not complicated technology, but it is very successful for getting into secure places. This is known in the field as social engineering. Security consultant and former hacker Kevin Mitnick is well known for his contribution to the field. It is an important tool for hackers. Because even with encryption and difficult passwords, a secure space can easily be infiltrated by persuading a staff member to give it for free.