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Mr. Robot Season 2 Hacks and Exploits: CrackSIM and Crack Theories!

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Have you been impatiently looking forward to Mr. Robot’s second season? Do you always have questions about the hacks that take place during the show? Are you often pausing to have a closer look at what’s written on that PC screen? Stay tuned! We’re also hooked on Mr. Robot and we’ll be looking for answers ourselves on an episode-basis.

SPOILERS ALERT!

I would start my review with a question. Did 2.7init5.fve, Mr. Robot’s 9th episode of season 2, answer any of my previous questions? To some extent it did but it also went even further into making the viewer question the sanity of it all. This is the moment to mention that some pretty wild Mr. Robot fan theories have been coined. And this is to be expected!

Before we have a closer look at the hacking side of the episode (not the biggest one in the season, but still), let’s have a look at some of these wild theories.


Mr. Robot Wildest Fan Theories

Mr. Robot vs. The Matrix

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This theory was coined by a reddit user. Here is just the tip of the iceberg of that theory:

  • The main character/hacker from Mr Robot is Elliot Alderson. From the Matrix Neo’s real name was Thomas A. Anderson.
  • Angela Moss is Elliot’s childhood friend/sweetheart (they nearly kiss in the original pilot script). In the matrix Neo’s love interest Trinity is played by Carrie-Anne Moss.

The fan also goes on about the weird colors of the show, the fact that there often seem to be problems with time and clocks (Whiterose is hacking time, in case you forgot), that Tyrell joked about not being a human in the first season, etc. Maybe Sam Esmail is just making a tribute to this modern classic?

Another cult movie that was all about fabricated realities and people not realizing they lived in a simulation is The 13th floor. And as our reader The Watcher suggested in the comments section below the articles – “maybe this is all taking place in a Quantum Computing machine, and we, as the audience, are maybe watching a simulation of sorts?“. What we’ve been seeing this season definitely feels like inception of realities!

Tyrelliot/ Tyrell Taking Control over Elliot

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I wasn’t the only one who theorized about Tyrell being another personality of Elliot. At some point down the episode lane, I began doubting this triple personality disorder as a possible outcome of this season. However, after finishing 2.7init5.fve, I again got that very same feeling. Yes, you are correct – it’s because of the very last scene with Joanna! But it’s not the only fracture of the episode that made me doubtful once more. It’s the fact that both Elliot and Mr. Robot suddenly lost control over Elliot in a glitch-like moment. It felt like someone was trying to overthrown them. The closest guess here, at least for me, was Tyrell.

This would also explain why Elliot was not aware that he invented “stage 2”. Maybe it was Tyrell, as in another personality of Elliot, who did all of that?

Another one: What if Tyrell is truly not a human and is actually Mr. Robot’s own Agent Smith delving into Elliot’s mind?

Enough with the theories! Unless you’ve got your own and would like to share it with me?


2.7init5.fve: Title Decoded

We’ve already explained what Init means as another episode had the very same title:

Linux, Init is the parent of all processes. Its fundamental role is to create processes from a script stored in the file /etc/inittab. Init also controls autonomous processes required by a system. Init1 takes the system into single user mode. Typically this means services such as sshd will be terminated, and in fact, may terminate all networking on some systems.

Which brings me to another question: Perhaps those two episodes share similar titles eps2.2init1.asec for a reason?

This is what I wrote back then:

Init1 literally depicts the “battle” Elliot is about to have with Mr. Robot. Well, it’s a chess game which eventually turns out to be impossible to win. This alone slowly begins to formulate the answer to the question Elliot has been facing. How to help everybody he cares about, and save himself from the arduous inner-ism that has isolated him from the world. Because no one can win, someone has to retreat. Is Mr. Robot the one to take control of Elliot and the situation, or is it the other way around?

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Well, what do you think about eps2.2init1.asec and 2.7init5.fve? Are the titles a coincidence?


The Hacks in 2.7init5.fve, Mr. Robot Season 2 Episode 9

Elliot’s Hack

This week’s most notable hack is the hack Elliot carried out in his attempt to eavesdrop on the Dark Arm. He planted a spyware program on Zhun’s phone enabling him to listen in through the hacked device’s microphone.

This hack is quite realistic indeed as such programs are for sale. Once such a malicious piece of code is running on a phone, hijacking the mic and camera is as easy as a children’s game.

How did Elliot successfully install such spyware on Zhune’s device? First Elliot bought the so-called Pwn phone which offers access to over 100 exploits.

For the hack to take place, Elliot uses a program called CrackSIM, which was perhaps coded by himself alone.

As the name suggests [CrackSIM], Elliot is going after Zhun’s SIM card, breaking in with a phone SMS and then using the SIM’s authority to delete the initial SMS and plant the spyware. This is an attack a lot of people suspected the NSA of pulling off after the Gemalto hack last year — but Elliot’s task is even harder. The NSA had the SIM keys because it stole them from Gemalto, something Elliot (presumably?) hasn’t done. As a result, he needs to get through to the SIM card from the phone’s operating system.

This whole thing is definitely possible but quite difficult to do in real life. As Russell Brandom puts it, this would be the Mount Everest of phone hacks.

Angela’s Hack

Angela decides to take matters into her own hands and steals sensitive files from her boss. She becomes a whistleblower! For this to happen, Angela uses the Rubber Ducky once again. All she needed to do was plug the Ducker and let it do the job.

In this case, Angela unsheaths the Ducky so she can push a trigger button, but that’s really all it is. Once she has the passwords, she just logs into the boss’s machine and moves the files over to another USB stick.

Overall, what Angela did exposed her quite a lot, not to mention there was a witness! Will she get caught, or will she comply with the FBI? As I previously thought, Angela and Dom may end up working together and what happened this week drives me to believe so even more.


What should we be expecting in eps2.8h1dden?pr0cess.axx?

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  • Whiterose finally meeting Elliot face-to-face
  • The hack of the planet (those lights weren’t going on and off for no reason)
  • Tyrell’s “resurrection”
  • More chaos!

Oh, and what did Darlene whisper into Elliot’s ear?

Milena Dimitrova

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the beginning. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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2 Comments

  1. AvatarRezn8

    Thanks Milena. Nice assortment of fun facts and theories.

    Reply
  2. MilenaDimitroffMilenaDimitroff

    thanks :)

    Reply

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