“Hello, again, friend. It all went quiet for a while and the depictions of hacking and cyber on TV seemed to become trite and clichéd again. We stopped seeing him, Mr. Robot, but now he’s back again. Did you see him, too?”

This blog may contain spoilers and was written following ‘eps3.2_legacy.so,’ which seems a good enough point into the new season for an objective but early take as to what it offers from a security perspective.

Following the initial fawning accolades and Emmy Awards bestowed upon the first season, the show has seen a degree of nay-saying backlash from certain critics combined with talk of declining broadcast ratings (a debatable metric of success in itself these days, particularly for a programme whose worldwide audience choose to stream it when they wish). But it’s the real world security themes, authentic hacks, and meticulously detailed visual references that make it of interest here on the State of Security. (Not to mention the easter eggs, puzzles and hidden clues often leading to ingenious online extras that the show’s creators go the extra mile to plant. If you want to explore matters in that level of detail, I suggest the excellent GeekWire reviews or the show’s subreddit.)

For now, though, let’s take a more succinct and high-level look at some the security highlights of the season at this early stage.

In the opening ‘Eps3.0_Power-Saver-Mode.H’ episode, main protagonist Elliot is taken to a CTF (Capture the Flag) contest by his equally formidable (as both hacker and central character) sister Darlene. Maybe the first time such an event has been shown on fictional TV, this underground CTF is apparently the last place that has power and internet access during the ongoing city blackout. To gain coveted access to a (Read more...)