NateTheGreat on Jun 23rd 2017 at 12:54:57 PM
Last Edited By:
NateTheGreat on Feb 4th 2018 at 10:45:16 AM
Page Type: trope
In real life locks that require security codes will only allow a certain number of failed attempts before locking up and triggering an alarm. In fiction this doesn't happen, the lock just beeps and resets. This will allow someone (usually, but not always, a robot or speedster) to patiently input code after code until the door unlocks. Related to Password Slot Machine, and thus will go on the Insecurity System index.
Note that only physical manipulation of the keys is allowed. As soon as someone gets into the wires and hooks up a device for a direct electrical or computer interface, we're getting into Hollywood Hacking and Hollywood Encryption territory, which are different tropes entirely. That doesn't mean that thieving devices aren't allowed; they just have to be limited to physical manipulation methods only (think Tinman Typist).
Film — Live-Action
- In Spiderman Homecoming, when Peter gets locked into a time-locked vault, he uses his TI-83 calculator, notebook paper, a pencil, and the assistance of his AI, Karen, to run all possible permutations of the pass code until he arrives at the correct entry and the doors unlock and let him out. When he first arrived, Karen told him this was the most secure facility in the country, but it doesn't have cameras or motion detectors to detect movement inside of the facilities and neither the porting of an unauthorized device nor hundreds of incorrect passcode attempts trigger an alarm.
- WarGames. When the NORAD Artificial Intelligence Joshua wants to launch the U.S. land-based ICBM force at the Soviet Union, he sends random combinations of alphanumeric characters to the computers controlling the missile silos until he hits the launch code.
- In The Flash (2014):
- In "Family of Rogues", Barry poses as a tech support expert to help Snart trick his father. Barry pretends to use his computer skills to hack a control panel, while in reality, he uses super speed to enter every possible combination.
- In "Attack on Central City", Barry must deactivate a missile launcher by inputting the correct code into its control panel. His tech support allies specify that this type of security system won't set off the missile if an inaccurate code is inputted.
- The Batman. D.A.V.E. is a robot who can crack a security code within five seconds by just entering possibilities into the panel until it opens the door.
- In Ben 10: Omniverse, Ben as XLR8 types in every combination for a bomb's disarming code.
- In the Justice League two-part episode "A Better World", the Flash uses this approach to try and release Batman from his shackles. However, Batman correctly guesses that the code is 91939, as he and Lord Batman think alike.
- In the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Great Brain Robbery", Lex Luthor's mind has been accidentally put into Flash's body. He tries to escape the Watchtower by brute forcing a security door but is interrupted by Green Lantern and Red Tornado before he can find the right code.
- In Wolverine and the X-Men, Quicksilver speed types in order to guess a computer password, to which he is granted access.
- In Fez, many puzzles involve translating messages into button patterns that you must press. For the black monolith puzzle, there is absolutely no in-game clue about the proper button pattern. Since it would have taken years for a single player to test every combination, the players banded together to collaboratively brute-force the answer, setting up websites to keep track of unsuccessful attempts until they finally found the combo that worked.
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