War Games Movie Review
War Games has become a real breakthrough in the people’s perception of computer power by depicting a smart teenager who manages to get into the Pentagon computer to play his favorite video games. However, young Broderick does not know that Pentagon officials empowered Global Thermonuclear War with real access to control the setup of nuclear weapons aiming at diminishing fully the ‘human factor’ in the war. Matthew Broderick (featuring David Lightman) nearly destroys the entire world in the movie, but inspires thousands of teenagers to be more proactive in video games, thus, making an impact on cyber technologies development. The incentive to waste more time in front of a computer screen cannot be considered positive, thus giving the movie negative reviews from the majority of parents who prefer seeing their teenagers leading a healthy and sporty way of life, however, the main idea that a single device can control the entire Universe gave gamers a plot for learning more about cyberspace. On the other hand, plenty of gamers and IT programmers did not stop at simple exploring of cyberspace, many of them went further and turned into hackers and cyberspace criminals which have been creating a lot of problems for officials, intelligent officers, and policymakers across the whole world. The issue of cybersecurity rose up with the rise of informational revolution.
The mention of cybersecurity first stood out in the 1960s when few Americans had a chance at least to see a huge, extremely costly computer, not even talking about using it. The whole personnel unit was needed to operate a single machine which devoured power and space in very large quantities. Already at those early times, the National Security Agency of the United States of America recognized that as multiple users had access to one computer, each of them should be able to secure their data search from others. Committees of experts were held continuously to find out some controls which would allow personal and secretive data remain such if its owner would desire so (Warner 785).
In the Informational era, cyber security has become an issue for the last few decades not only for such powerful, quite secretive units as Pentagon or multiple governments around the world but also for minor entrepreneurs who develop their businesses through Internet as well as each social network user who can now never be sure how and where his personal data can be used. Everyone seems to be at risk.
In the 1970s, the efforts were made to develop tools of termination of the penetration to the information, however, results were pitiful as before the attack would be stopped, the penetrator would already access the database or even fully gain control over the system. War Games is a great example of how data can be manipulated or even stolen to be used to serve dangerous purposes, sometimes, to the whole mankind. Lack of positive motivation does not always go well with bright mind, as in case of David Lightman who creates that type of simulation which makes the whole team of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) believe that nuclear missiles, bombers and military submarines of the Sovjet Union are coming. Curiously, David chose to play the part of the Sovjet Union army, and craving to win the game, he actually makes the Sovjet Union attack the USA without the slightest knowledge. A high school boy is at edge to start the Third World War.
The question comes into mind: How many of such Davids exist in the world? Clearly, the world can be destroyed easily without cyberspace security. It is not an exaggeration and the modern world is a strong proof of it: Up-to-date technologies allow setting up the bomb attack with a single press of the keyboard button, supporters of Islamic fundamentalism induce sheer terror among people around the whole world spreading mind-boggling information through social networks and threatening lives of millions by bombing occasional objects without a chance of being caught and destroyed for years, even with the death of their leader, Saddam Hussein, the terrorists do not cease their activities.
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Accountability and transparency are fading away. The more efforts the governments exert to control the content on the web, filtering the information published and delivering facts at the angle useful for one or another party, the more fiercely their opponents are trying to get to know the real data with the help of hackers. Informational war starts from the top. The geopolitical problem is even more acute when questioning cyberspace security as it may lead to the leak of highly secretive information, strategic plans of countries, can be pivotal for the welfare and peace among nations (Deibert 334). A good example of this issue is represented in the War Games – never-ceasing ‘cold’ struggle between the United States of America and the Russian Federation makes each of the two countries simply wait for the error of the other to set up the deathly missiles in its direction.
War Games becomes a movie of particularly high significance to the contemporary development of effective cyberspace security after the look to the source of the movie – the real situation which occurred in 1979 when NORAD programmed some test data into computers responsible for missile warning by means of the Internet that were supposed to report false alerts of missile attack, however, the operators wrongfully thought them to be real. Terrified William Odom, who later became the director of the National Security Agency, announced nightmarish news to Zbigniew Brzezinksi, National Security Advisor, that the Sovjet Union set up 2200 nuclear missiles in the direction of the United States. Four years later the film director John Badham made an adaptation movie of that scenario, impressing with the hacking skills of David Lightman even the current President of the United States – Ronald Reagan who recommended watching the movie at his meeting with the Army’s Chief of Staff as well as the Congress members (Warner 787).