Secret History of Hacking, The

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The Secret History of Hacking
The Secret History of Hacking Title Card
Format Video (TV)
Genre Documentary
Origin UK
Language English
Release Date 1 January 2001
Running Time 50 min
Created by NA
Directed by Ralph Lee
Produced by Mira King, James Burstall
Written by NA
Screenplay by NA
Distributed by September FIlms
Narrated by Qarie Marshall
Starring John Draper, Steve Wozniak, Kevin Mitnick
Music by Qarie Marshall
Cinematography by NA
Edited by NA
Production Company September FIlms
Location(s) Various
Original Channel Discovery
Additional Information
Based on NA
Topics Technology, Computers, Hacking
Follows NA
Precedes NA
Associated Video Hackers: Outlaws and Angels
Website NA

The Secret History of Hacking is a 2001 documentary film that focuses on phreaking, computer hacking and social engineering occurring from the 1970s through to the 1990s. Archive footage concerning the subject matter and (computer generated) graphical imagery specifically created for the film are voiced over with narrative audio commentary, intermixed with commentary from people who in one way or another have been closely involved in these matters.


The film starts by reviewing the concept and the early days of phreaking, featuring anecdotes of phreaking experiences (often involving the use of a blue box) recounted by John Draper and Denny Teresi. By way of commentary from Steve Wozniak, the film progresses from phreaking to computer hobbyist hacking (including anecdotal experiences of the Homebrew Computer Club) on to computer security hacking, noting differences between the latter 2 forms of hacking in the process. The featured computer security hacking and social engineering stories and anecdotes predominately concern experiences involving Kevin Mitnick. The film also deals with how society's (and notably law enforcement's) fear of hacking has increased over time due to media attention of hacking (by way of the film WarGames as well as journalistic reporting on actual hackers) combined with society's further increase in adoption of and subsequent reliance on computing and communication networks.

John Draper, Steve Wozniak and Kevin Mitnick are prominently featured while the film additionally features comments from or else archive footage concerning Denny Teresi, Joybubbles, Mike Gorman, Ron Rosenbaum, Steven Levy, Paul Loser, Lee Felsenstein, Jim Warren, John Markoff, Jay Foster, FBI Special Agent Ken McGuire, Jonathan Littman, Michael Strickland and others.

Hackers: Computer Outlaws

The film appears to also have been distributed or recut for the channel TLC and titled Hackers: Computer Outlaws. The run times and animations appear to be the same though the voice narration is different.


Film User Format Link Notes
The Secret History of Hacking (2001) NA DivX
The Secret History of Hacking (2001) NA DivX 244MB
The Secret History of Hacking (2001) NA DivX 132MB
Hackers: Computer Outlaws (2001) NA DivX
Hackers: Computer Outlaws (2001) NA MP4


External Links