World War III will not be contested with guns, tanks or bombs. It will be a secret war which won’t take place on any battlefield. Instead of fighting in the streets, the arena of conflict will be in cyberspace. This has already started and we’re now reaching a point where hackers have the potential to bring-down a whole economy without even leaving their building. Writer/Director Alex Gibney has built up a strong reputation within the documentary film world. Following on the success of films such as Going Clear and Taxi to the Dark Side, he returns with Zero Days.
In 2010, security companies became aware of a virus attacking computers around the world. Coined Stuxnet by Symantec, the worm quickly spread. When it was discovered that 60% of infected computers were in Iran, it quickly became apparent that this was not a random attack. It was a concerted joint attack by the US and Israel on an Iranian nuclear facility. One which spiralled out of control and had the potential to cause catastrophic chaos.
Zero Days is a compelling and disturbing film-making. It’s a very timely film. Cyberwarfare is a largely untouched area of media commentary. Gibney does a great job of demonstrating what a real and pressing danger it is. Most worryingly, Stuxnet could possible just be the tip of a very large iceberg. Zero Days is a demonstration of the value of documentary film-making; raising the spectre of mankind’s doom through an accessible and tense narrative.
Zero Days is out in cinemas from Friday.