I was watching a NCIS rerun and started to wonder about McGee's superhuman programming skills. He sat down in front of a random computer in a suspects house, and yet again, within two to three seconds he hacked the system. This time he found an API for a GPS device that was located in the suspects car, wrote a few lines of something on the command line, and got the location of the car.
I've been programming for a while now (just as a hobby), and I can't figure out he does it, nevermind at all. Let's assume that the car GPS was connected to the internet and there really was an API from the GPS manufacturer you could use (lets also assume that there are known vulnerabilities in that API). I still think it would be hours of work for someone who knows what he's doing.
Could you do anyhing remotely like what McGee did? And how long would it take?
The operating system in this case was Windows something. You could see something like 'win32' on the screen for a second or two. Maybe he has an USB memory full of scripts written by NSA for this purpose? Maybe every device on earth is full of programmed backdoors that US agents can use?
Like I said, i'm a hobbyist programmer. I spend alot of time reading header files and documentation to get even the simplest things done. I think I know something about computing on hardware level, and have a loose grip on the linux kernel (and the 'grep' command ). I just can't think of a situation where I could hack any system like Tim does.
After rambling about this for three paragraphs now, I want to know if there are any real-life McGees out there, and how would you do implement this super-quick-fast programming in a world with a vast array of operating systems? What programming language would you use (I'm guessing Perl)?
Note for those who reply:
* NCIS producers are propably cutting corners to make good TV, please don't point that out.
* GPS manufacturers propaply have API's for their devices because they're desperate and want programmers to make apps for them.
* This scenario takes place in episode two in season five.
* Don't take this post too serously :)
* I had three beers before writing this...