The film starts with the launch of the rocket Gallileo and the WANK worm introducedinto NASA's system by unknown hackers prior to the launch.Footage of launch of Gallileo.
Selective editing. The interview is edited to cut out the NASA scientist'spunch line--no files were, in fact, deleted. It is apparent that the "worm" was apractical joke. The whole episode is extensively documented in the book"Underground" by Julian Assange and Suelette Dreyfus.
Click here. NASA scientist:It was a Monday morning a few days before launching Gallileo. My manager rangme as soon as I came in and they said that there was a worm that had beendetected somewhere out on the network. A worm is a self-replicating program thatactually breaks into a computer and jumps from system to system. At the time theywere still very uncommon. We didn't know what it would do. We knew it wasmalicious. If a worm got into a machine it would change the announcementmessage and spelled out in little lines and little characters W.A.N.K - Wank, WormsAgainst Nuclear Killers - and below that "You talk of times of peace for all and thenprepare for war". Oh my god, what the hell is this? Most people didn't know whatthe word 'wank' meant. The word meant 'F'. You would be logged into your machineand you'd get a message: Someone is watching you, vote anarchist. And suddenlythey'd see "deleted file 1, deleted file 2, deleted file 3" and just keep going andgoing and going. And it would change the passwords, so you couldn't get in to stopit. Scared the hell out of a lot of people. They were afraid that Wank would causethe launch failure, where this nuclear battery was suddenly flying away from anexploding spacecraft…Audio voiceover of NASA launch countdownNASA scientist:How in the hell are we going to stop it? How far's it gone already?Footage of launch of Gallileo.
No person has ever claimed responsibility for the WANK worm. Gibney's "keyclue" is merely that Assange, along with most of his generation, had also listened tothe internationally famous Australian rock band Midnight Oil.Narration by Alex Gibney: The shuttle launched without incident. But the WANK worm continued to spread,affecting over 300,000 computer terminals around the world. Its purpose, as a