The Hackers Mural - Amsterdam April 2023



dcuthbert hitb graffiti-1

Last Sunday April 16th, Mick Mowgli travelled to Amsterdam to paint a mural for us. It's not the first time we have worked with Mick. The concept was to use the original poster for the Hackers movie that the Crash Override brand is based around, but swap out Angelina Jolie (Acid Burn) and Johnny Lee Miller (Zero Cool) with Grace Hopper and Alan Turing. 

Daniel Cuthbert graciously came to Amsterdam on Tuesday to photograph thew work. 

If you don't know Grace Hopper, she was an American computer scientist who created one of the first linkers. While she was working on a Mark II Computer at Harvard University in 1947, her associates discovered a moth that was stuck in a relay and impeding the operation of the computer. Upon extraction, the insect was affixed to a log sheet for that day with the notation, “First actual case of bug being found”.

Alan Turing is the father of computer science and AI theory. He helped the pioneer the technology to decrypt Nazi Germany's secret communications that was using the Enigma machine during World War II. Turing was later treated despicably by the British government. 

We used the mural to run a physical capture the flag at the Hack in the Box Conference in Amsterdam where we gave out the location and then a clue to where the mural was painted. The prize? A signed, framed copy in all its glory to the first person or team that took a selfie of themselves in-front of the mural. And the best bit ? A team had used OSINT before the conference to track people tagging Mick on Instagram while he was working. What a fitting set of winners. They created their own rules and used what information they could get their hands on to find what they wanted to find. Perfect, just perfect. And to top it all they graciously told me they had found it just before we started and agreed to keep it quiet so as not to spoil the fun for others. We knew using a legal wall was a risk but wanted to respect the conference organisers. 

Here is the crew and I will be sending a signed, framed copy to you all. You were brilliant. 


I think we will do this again if I am speaking at another conference. I already have a few ideas for other murals. I will publish a link soon to download a hi-resolution version of the mural to use as your laptop background.