ET = 1337 h4x0r?

Remember in Independence Day, where Will Smith hacked an alien computer system with an iMac? Someone out there is concerned that the reverse might be far more possible. What if aliens were malicious hackers?

The source for the above link,, doesn’t seem to find the idea as outlandish as I do. I mean, what are the chances their virus would even work on our Networks? I just don’t buy it. If it were to happen, you’d need more than just data being captured by the [email protected] system; you’d need a malicious hacker somehow present, say, an AI orbiting earth in a tiny, undetectable computer, part of a self-replicating expander/destructor-swarm or something.

And if that were our attacker, then there’s not much sense in worrying about [email protected], since this thing would probably target the Internet generally (if it had any good sense).

Which is just to say, I’m skeptical. But as Adrian of wrote, it “brings to mind shades of Vernor Vinge,” and it is an interesting enough worry.

2 thoughts on “ET = 1337 h4x0r?

  1. Why waste time with a complicated hack of a foreign code? As Physicist John von Neumann suggested, an alien race would need merely to build self replicating machines that it would send off into the Universe to detect alien races. Once discovered, the machine could gently nudge a nearby asteroid, and poof!

    The perfect crime.

    I’m just saying, dinosaurs were scary… he may be right.

    read more:

  2. Yeah, I know about von Neumann probes and think they’d be much likelier for any kind of alien encounter — friendly or hostile — but I was just trying to make the point that aliens “hacking” the internet by some kind of radio signals being picked up by SETI involves far too many “ifs” for me to honestly worry about it.

    By the way, I also think von Neumann probes/ships would be our best way to go about extrasolar expansion. But that’s a long ways off, for now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *