James Bond has been chasing cyber criminals since 1995’s Golden Eye but in the new 007 action thriller Skyfall, the new Q even admits that he can do more damage in his pajamas, eating a bowl of cereal with his laptop than James Bond can in a week. Does this make James Bond obsolete? Hardly, CIA, MI6 as well as other nefarious government agencies and organizations need eyes and ears on the ground as well as tools of precise destruction. Intelligence agencies are more about the expediency of information. Available information from Internet searches comes second on their list. As we all know, information you can obtain from the Internet can be stale or misleading as anyone looking for a gas station using their GPS smartphone can tell you.
Secret agents like James Bond are normally used as Hard Targets or Honeypots, watching and reporting on events as they unfold. Cyber criminals depend on our sloppiness with usernames and passwords as well as leaving breadcrumbs that a 14 year old with too much time on his or her hand can follow to raid your bank account or shut down and erase your email, Facebook and other personal accounts. They also conduct Cyber terrorism and bilk British and American citizens out of billions of dollars every year.
Criminal organizations from Russia, Ukraine and other former Eastern Bloc countries lead the way in this activity. The new Q (Quartermaster) in Skyfall is well equipped to handle cyber criminals. There may be a reference to Q being a former cyber criminal in Skyfall when he states to Bond that he invented the cyber program that Silva, Javier Bardem’s character, uses against MI6. So in the future, Q may be less reliant on gadgets and more apt to guiding Bond through the cyber maze of today’s world.