How to be a Hacker (According to 1995’s ‘Hackers’)

The future is so yesterday
by Josh Hrala

Movies try and tell us every couple of years what it is like to be a “hacker.” I have seen all of these movies and therefore am a 1337lolhxzorz that can take down the military by plugging the tip of my wiener into a pay phone and making sweet love to the telnet (use that last sentence next time you talk to a girl, which is probably rare). Here is a brief guide on how to be a malicious cyber warrior straight out of the movies…

Dress the Part

In the movies, which we all know only tell the truth and never fib (unless it’s labeled documentary, then it’s a total lie), hackers always look cool and cybernetic. They wear sunglasses that are thin like Cyclops from X-Men and have many bracelets that have gadgets and gizmos (some even tell time!). So what are you going to do to become awesome and instantly smart? First get out there and hit Sharper Image. They have all the useless junk you need to pull off your illegal hacking (or just get kicked out because you enjoy the massage chair too much, like me). Next is to hit the Apple store and buy small, flashy pieces of technology that will totally put you above everyone else in the field. Don’t worry about the bills that will pile up, you’ll be rolling in internationally stolen cash soon. This is the cool version of a hacker. If you want go for a different stereotypical hacker look you can simply grab a Mountain Dew and constantly have Doritos residue on your fingertips (Augustus, save some for later!). For the latter you will only need a lack of hygiene and some form of diabetes.

Learn the Tricks of the Trade

This movie is so old "online" was still two words.

This movie is so old “online” was still two words.

How are you going to hack things when you can barely check your email? Simple, Google it. Everyone knows that Googling things is the easiest and most efficient way to information about anything (you also need not worry about them tracking you, we all know Google is completely anonymous). Need to know if girls have Adam’s apples on the fly? Google. Need to understand how to say “I want your finger inside my One Ring” in Elvish? Google. Same goes for hacking. Just simply type in “How to steal credit card information” into Google and bam! You just got visually seduced with criminal knowledge. Don’t have Internet access and you’re reading this article at the local library or in class, because you love me so much you go to these places just to Google me every couple of days? (No? Okay.) Watch movies. You can rent them from the library or from a video store. They will teach you more than anything. Oh and get some Internet, I’m still using a bunch of old AOL free months I got in the mail back in the ’90s. Or by cable internet and use Internet Explorer, it’s so much better than everything else (said no one ever except Microsoft who is in denial).

Get Busy Hacking

Okay so you have brushed up on your hacker trivia. You can now wax poetic about technology and its role in the world. You impress your friends and loved ones with your intimate knowledge of ports. Now it’s time to get hacking for real. As you know from your research, hacking involves a lot of random code flying by very fast. You’re going to want to practice your speed-reading if you’re going to figure out how to computer. Pretty much all you have to do is go to “command prompt” on a Windows machine or Terminal on a Mac and type is random gibberish. This is how hackers do it in the movies. You’ll get a bunch of errors like “Command not found.” This is good news. You’re totally hacking above the limits of modern technology!

Now Hit the Streets

In many hacker movies you see people plug into a payphone and “phreak” the frequencies to do different things (phreak that freq, you freaky bastard). Just remember to always have a recorder with a dial tone simulated in your pocket to hold up to the mouthpiece (bulge +1, ladies). Now I’m guessing you’re in a pretty bad part of town because pay phones are on the way out. You’re going to want to look around for people with guns. They want to stop your hacking and not compliment your awesome outfit (tell them you’re lost and they will totally help you get home). After you plug into the phone you’ll realize that you are now flying through the wires of the telephone system. This is normal. You’re going to want to copy the “trash file” and keep it on a 3.5’’ floppy (solid 5 when hard) disc. Keep this disc in a secure place, I suggest in a faux ceiling.

Dealing with the FBI

Now all hackers have to deal with the feds on occasion. Usually its because they are totally baffled by the technological orgasm you gave to a computer system by flying through wires like you freshly came out of Wreck-It Ralph and stole all the nonsense files they have saved in their trash bin. This will go one of two ways. They will either offer you a job as a Senior Cyber Security Officer and pay for you to keep America safe from Nigerian Kings trying to steal your grandmother’s identity, or another hacker will get to you before the feds. There is always a cooler hacker. He has the cooler Macbook Pro, the better glasses, and even worse hygiene. He may even be a girl with blonde dreadlocks. Hacking is always a war of information and controlling the flow of it. There are multiple hackers trying to get the same prize. This means you have competition. So follow this guide and show those script kiddies who’s boss. Oh yeah, and Google script kiddie. P.S. – Females do not have Adam’s apples, trust me on this.

Can you guess which two of the sites below are a dealbreaker with a dame this lovely?

Can you guess which two of the sites below are a dealbreaker with a dame this lovely?

Josh Hrala  knows how to computer and also writes for and his work can be found here. He wants to be your BFF on Facebook, and can be emailed hate mail at

Because if you do, there's an internet meme about you.

Because if you do, there’s an internet meme about you.

J0shXX0r previously unlocked secrets of the internets when he taught you to Find Love at Too-Specific Dating Sites, and mastered body as well as mind in How to Work Out (like a Jerk).

More from Josh Hrala

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