Portrayal of Technology in Prometheus

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Computer and Network Security

There were no real instances of network security issues because there was no network security or even general security on any of the ships. It appeared that there were no locks on any doors, everyone had access to most information on the ship, and it appeared that none of the equipment required any type authorization. This lack of security is very troubling for anyone on the ship and for a company that is supposed to be a leader in industry on earth.

The first example of this is when David was able to access the ships controls and open doors to different areas just by pressing the equivalent of an open button. It must have just been an open button because David could understand the language and possibly from that know the controls, but there would be no way he could know passwords or pass tests for authorization for an alien species. David also did this later when it came to walking into the cockpit and flying the alien ship. There was also the part of the movie where Shaw needed to get an alien out of her and she was lucky there was absolutely no security. She was able to gain access to a medical machine that could perform just about any surgery by walking into the room without any visible access code, gained access to drugs incredibly easily without permissions, and the machine allowed her to enter any surgery without any conformation that she was certified to make that decision.

We cannot speak for the aliens because maybe they are all great people and no one does bad things on their planet so not having any locks or access codes is fine, but for humans it is unacceptable. The medical machine should absolutely need the approval or security clearance of a doctor on board before it can be used. Without any security of getting to the machine and no conformation form an experienced professional a kid, or an adult with no medical knowledge could walk up to it and accidentally perform a useless and quite possibly fatal surgery on themselves. Something like this should have multiple fail-safes in the software and access. On the software side of the machine it is in clear violation of sections 1.03 and 3.08 of the software engineering code because the machine is not safe and does not satisfy the user requirements.

Considering the software engineer’s code of ethics, namely section 3.06, the software controls for most of the equipment do not meet the standard security specification. Today’s standard is compartmentalizing systems and restricting access to certain users or groups of users. It can be argued that there is no need to meet standards on an interstellar mission; the engineers and planners of the mission could not have foreseen alien intervention. However, when planning this expedition, planners would have had to look at past lengthy expeditions and noticed the recurring problem of mutiny. None of the systems prevent this from happening and actually enable it in many of them.