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astsu: why Mr Robot is the most tech-savvy show ever

I finally watched the pilot episode of Mr Robot and I was totally blown away by the way the handle┬áthe hacking aspects of the show. If you haven’t seen the show, the main character is a professional security engineer by day and a “cyber vigilante” at night. It’s great!

Every aspect of the way Elliot – protagonist – goes about his job is completely believable and authentic, from: social engineering techniques, password cracking, right down to the command line.

As an example of the authenticity + poetic license = tech-savviness, throughout the pilot the Elliot uses a command: astsu.

astsu is not a real linux command and it’s not totally clear what it does. However, the way that he uses it feels totally legit. He doesn’t use it when other commands would do the job (like a sloppy writer might have him do) and the arguments he passes to it look about right for something vaguely network/security related. We can assume that this command is code that he’s written himself. The command is basically a plot device for the nerds that will notice this sort of thing.

The fact that writers/producers/whoever demonstrate an incredible attention to detail and authenticity. I’m definitely going to continue watching

Oh, the soundtrack is perfect too.

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