Can Hackers Really “Bounce” Their Signal All Over the World?

by Matthew Hughes

A hoodie-clad hacker typing on a keyboard with a map of the world in the background.

TV shows and films rarely represent hackers accurately. We’re all familiar with the old trope of the hoodie-clad digital criminal frantically typing into a black terminal before triumphantly whispering, “We’re in.”

But does Hollywood ever get it right? Sometimes.

Don’t Believe Everything You See on TV

Both the small and silver screens have portrayed hackers who bounce an internet connection around the world to stay ahead of law enforcement. While these depictions are usually a bit more colorful than what you’d see in reality, there are real-world parallels.

Perhaps the most ludicrous fictional example of this was in the schlocky, 2001 Hugh Jackman flick, Swordfish. At the film’s climax, retired hacker, Stanley Jobson, bounces stolen money through hacked bank accounts across the globe, each represented by an IP address.

“The accounts are encrypted with a 1024-bit cypher. Even I can’t break through the firewall,” said Jobson, elevating Hollywood technobabble to unforeseen new heights.

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