Hacking "The Code"

Posted: Wednesday 24 September 2014


"The Code" is an Australian TV Series that draws elements from similarly themed detective/mystery series "Sherlock" on BBC, and many parallels can be drawn.

The distinctive digital representation of data in Sherlock is represented with a clear overlay of data, where despite the character's interactions with an electronic device, we typically don't see the device itself, and instead only the content and other important elements.

This is closely paralleled in "The Code", with the character's online sleuthing displayed with the same graphical style.

The role of social media is also evident in both "Sherlock" and "The Code", where both Sherlock and John Watson keep online blogs, which heightens the sense of realism between reality and the fiction of the TV show. "Password", the fictional online newspaper featured in "The Code", has a twitter feed, which is presumably updated around the time a new episode is aired on ABC1, reflecting the show's content: https://twitter.com/passwordnews

However, appreciating just visual and technical techniques is evidence of being blind to the story's accuracy and the story itself.

James Joyce teases the physical impracticalities and disillusion to the realities of the streets of Canberra, commenting "Only in TV land can you can drive straight up to the front of the Parliament House forecourt in your battered bomb of a Peugeot and find a parking spot. Like, right out front".

You can have a read of it here: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/the-code-episode-1-recap-canberra-youre-starring-in-it-20140922-10k6ge.html, but it virtually sets the stage of the desperate advertising on an image of Canberra that is not real!


As the world is more connected by technology, I was pleased to see a modernized concept and appreciation of technology in "Sherlock", the blogging aspect sealed the deal, being caught up in a new Sherlock episode leads to intriguing developments in the blogs of the characters. In the fact that during the timeline of the shooting of an episode, there's a date - the connection to reality...

Its fun to see some form of technology other then Macbooks, iPhones, iPads and iMacs represented in "The Code". Though, since "technology" seems to be a central motif, I expected a lot more accuracy.

But its not coding, its hacking!


Hackertyper makes an appearance in this show.

So rest assured, watching "The Code" isn't going to teach you to hack. Actually, far from it. It teaches you how to act like you're hacking. So those non-sudo GREPPing won't do actually significant. If you need to act like you're hacking, then use hackertyper! Though, I must give credit to the crew for getting a chromeless window instead of having the website in a web-browser...

Trojans and stuff is legit!

I must admit, I enjoyed seeing Linux even mentioned in any video... Sure its underused and not at all popular - In fact, I'm using Windows 8.1 right, and Ubuntu is just collecting dust on my SSD - but what's so laughable is the fact that someone has hacked into our hero's - Jesse - open source Linux operating system, performed "port scans" and backdoored a "trojan".

This aint finfisher running on Windows.

It's Linux for crying out loud. An open source operating system that so unpopular that no-one bothers to write trojans or malware for it (and doing so would lead to an immediate eradication, since, open source).

So there goes quite an important plot device of our hero being "hacked", since, something, something, Linux/0=Trojan.

Oh, and the other trojan featured, "osx/hellrts", sounds demonic, but is actually easy to remove.

Heck, it wipes your mac's hard drive clean and deletes all of your emails for you without anyone knowing (in fact you might have osx/hellrts on your Linux computer right now.

Decrypting corrupted video


Poor guy can't even get a simple FFMPEG command right in order to "repair" the video footage.

Techy stuff

With only a USB internet modem on hand, somehow, his ethernet cable is leaking port scans, and so he's compelled to drop everything from eth0 (ethernet port). I guess that's why he was hacked, something about the scans not coming from his ethernet cable at all... hmm... maybe it was from his USB INTERNET MODEM?

The websites and IP address

Lets find continuity issues!

So when Jesse realizes that he's being hacked, he immediately "drops" packets from 195.51.100.*

Despite the fact that he does a file copy from

And was receiving the "scans" from 198.51.100.* ( in the following screenshot)

So lets "hack"

With all of that in mind. Lets attempt to hack "The Code".

Physanto is a large corporation that embodies the very meaning of corruption, with its influence extending even to the government of this fictional Australia itself.

Unfortunately, both their IP Address and Website were made public, unlike with "Password" newspaper...


Ok... So its nothing like "Sherlock"...

But http://physanto.com reveals an interesting page, with servers hosted in Australia, and an IP address of "". This IP Address coincidently hosts malware,

Pointing to a site called www.newaction.com.au

They've been hacked pretty hard... Maybe by Jesse? Who knows...

Nonetheless, physanto.com.au does not exist and the creators of "The Code" should be ashamed of themselves...

Oh.. And the file copying part?

I tried.


If you were left in a daze after Banks' grand hacking troupe, then don't worry, I was confused about everything that happened, starting from using a parody website to hack, dropping a trojan on Linux to . I'm going to go ahead and point my finger at the IT guy behind this: Alain Despatie. Here's his LinkedIn (since sleuthing online was a popular plot device in "The Code")