I’ve been watching and commenting on episodes of CSI:Cyber for a little while now. On the main page you will see my thoughts on the episodes I’ve watched so far from Season 2. If you go through the older posts you’ll find the same for the episodes I watched in Season 1. If you read my posts on Season 2 episodes I’ve been pretty happy with them so far. Does it mean they don’t have room for improvements, no, there are still things I would love to see them incorporate and change. I like the idea of the show and think there are a ton of things that they have yet to explore. I mean the story ideas are pretty endless. Here is my overall opinion of the show and why it’s great to have a show like this on the air.
Before I begin I’d like to link to some great articles that promote ideas and discussion on the topic. I would definitely recommend reading the following The CSI:Cyber effect, Why CSI:Cyber Matters, CSI:Cyber 10 real cybersecurity experts review the show. Now here’s my opinion on all of this. I would like to see the show slow down a bit in it’s approach and go a little more detailed into the ideas the show covers. I’d like to see episodes that don’t just wrap up at the end with nabbing the baddie but carry onto the next episode. A hacker the team has to work on catching because they are more elusive, methodical and highly skilled. It might be a series of episodes where they are following the same suspect or it might be a suspect that elludes them at the end of the episode and three episodes later they pick up the scent again. I’ve said it before and I definitely think they need an adversary that challenges them. The adversary in my mind is not a black hat but a grey hat. It would divide the team on their thoughts of the hacker and create growth in the characters and their dynamic. It would also stretch out the episodes and add a little excitement with the thrill of the chase. There are still so many things that could be covered in the show like #gamergate, internet trolls, ransomeware, etc. Like I said though I’d like to see them get a little more detailed in how they show it. This is where not trying to wrap up everything at the end of the show will keep them from ramming everything into the episode timeframe. As for the links above my favorite piece from the reviews of 10 real cybersecurity experts is this quote from one expert.
“thug in need of redemption” played by the actor formerly known as Lil’ Bow Wow.
I’ve watched the show and I would never call Brody, the character played by Shad Moss aka Bow Wow, a thug. I’m not sure why he’s seen as a thug by the expert, their definition must be very different than mine. That’s all I’m going to say about it but I did have to highlight it because I thought that was just a little ridiculous. I do get that the show caters to some stereotypes, I’ve said that before in one of my posts. However there is very little they can do about the main cast of the show now that it is in the second season. Going forward maybe we’ll see more women, suited up business types or 12 year old hackers.
The next thing is we have to face reality when critisizing the show. Any show, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Law & Order:SVU. Anyone watching it who is in that profession will tell you that the show is not realistic. Things don’t happen in that timeframe, the day doesn’t end with them catching the bad guy. In reality if a show was made with such ultra realism I hardly doubt it would make it past the first couple episodes. Why? because no one or very little people would watch. My thought when watching a show I’m interested in like CSI:Cyber is to give my feedback and opinion. Perhaps somehow someone that has influence in making the show will catch wind of it. If it makes sense and there are enough people with the same opinions things might change. If that happens it’s better for everyone. What happens if you dismiss the show because of the inaccuracies, who does that help? no one. I think the show is great in what it does. Technology is evolving at such a rapid pace. If millions of viewers are watching and it sparks the interest in a fraction of those viewers that’s a great thing. There is going to be an increased need for highly skilled law enforcement and more knowledgable law makers who understand the technology they need to police.
Does it have a bit of fluff or the possibility of spreading fear? Well which show doesn’t have fluff that is what keeps it from being a documentary. As for spreading fear the the show is in it’s 2nd season and I haven’t seen reports of wide spread hysteria because of one of the episodes. Does the show have information in it? Let me share my personal experience. I’m in the IT field and I use mobile devices ALOT. However I never knew about “juicejacking” until I watched an episode. After watching the episode I looked it up online and was shocked that it was a real thing and I had never heard about it before. I read all the information I could find and passed that information on to users I thought would be at risk. Just because there were no reports of it happening in the wild doesn’t mean users didn’t need to know. So I think there is information in the episodes. I’ve written blog posts about creating better passwords once a year for about 3 years now. Does it mean that people will stop making bad passwords, highly unlikely. But if just one person sees my blog post and becomes a little more secure I think that it’s worth it.