[Cryptography] Stupid movie encryption scenes

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at hallambaker.com
Tue Dec 10 13:56:15 EST 2019

Watching Agents of Shield, I noted a scene which combined most of the
stupid hollywood 'encryption' tropes.

* Character recognizes the file is encrypted 'with a scheme they have never
encountered before'

* The file is decrypted in a few hours using nothing more than a laptop

* The encryption scheme is always symmetric, no use of key sharing.

* Geolocation encryption - can only be decrypted at a specific position.

* Have to find the person who encrypted the file to decrypt it.

* Nonsensical graphics, particularly of the 'finding parts of the password
individually' type as if encryption works like a safe.

I was wondering if there were any particular scenes in other movies that
are similarly egregious. My plan being to string them together for a
training video on what encryption ain't.

Could then follow up with an alternative primer on how to write realistic
schemes using public key crypto, threshold crypto, key shares, HSMs,
biometrics and so on.
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