'The Perfect Weapon': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know on HBO's cyberwarfare documentary

'The Perfect Weapon': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know on HBO's cyberwarfare documentary
'The Perfect Weapon' (HBO)

War is possibly as ancient as humanity itself and over the centuries, it has evolved with us. With more technological developments, the nature of weapons changed and it is expected that with the advent of the internet, mobile phones, and widespread network usage, war has gotten much more sophisticated and dangerous. Cyberwarfare involves the actions by a nation-state or international organization to attack and attempt to damage another nation's computers or information networks through, for example, computer viruses or denial-of-service attacks. Cyberwarfare is undoubtedly the preferred mode of attack these days and even when we don't realize it, it is present.

A new documentary from HBO focuses on the rise of cyberwarfare, especially in the past few years, as we head into the 2020 Presidential elections. Titled 'The Perfect Weapon', the documentary also highlights several instances of cyber attacks. Read on to know more details about the documentary.

Release date

'A Perfect Weapon' will premiere on HBO on Friday, October 16, at 8/7c. The documentary will be available to stream on HBO Max the next day.


The official synopsis for the documentary states: "The film explores the rise of cyber conflict as a primary way in which nations now compete with and sabotage one another. Cheap, invisible, and devastatingly effective, cyber weapons are the present and future of geopolitical conflict – a short-of-war pathway to exercising power. 'The Perfect Weapon' draws on interviews with top military, intelligence, and political officials for a comprehensive view of a world of new vulnerabilities, particularly as fear mounts over how cyberattacks and influence operations may affect the 2020 US election, vulnerable power grids, America’s nuclear weapons arsenal, and the global networks that are the backbone of private enterprise. The film also explores how the US government is struggling to defend itself from cyberattacks while simultaneously stockpiling and using the world's most powerful offensive cyber arsenal."

Several events are featured in the documentary, including how the US and Israeli attack a decade ago on Iran’s nuclear program using the “Stuxnet” malware inspired nations and rogue hackers to develop increasingly sophisticated retaliatory attacks against the US and its allies, how the Iranian government aggressively retaliated against the casino empire of billionaire political donor Sheldon Adelson after he suggested the US consider the use of a nuclear weapon against Iran, how the pending release of a Seth Rogen comedy film so inflamed North Korea’s Kim Jong Un that he directed a wholesale hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer network -- the hack led to the release of a trove of private and proprietary information about Sony, its executives, and major Hollywood talent, and cost the studio millions of dollars in physical damage --, the effort by the National Security Agency and United States Cyber Command to regain the upper hand in cyber conflict and deter cyber adversaries in the runup to the 2020 election has been undercut by a President who has believed Putin over his own intelligence officials and often fed the conspiracy theories that make Russia’s operations more potent, and more.


Interviewees include former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former NSA Director and first commander of US Cyber Command Keith Alexander, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, current Director of DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Christopher Krebs, former Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, filmmaker Seth Rogen, former US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and Microsoft President Brad Smith.


John Maggio

John Maggio (Getty Images)

John Maggio is a filmmaker best known for 'Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis' which won the Emmy for Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary. Prior to that, he had another HBO film 'The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee' that earned a nomination for the 2018 Producers Guild Award for best documentary feature. 

'The Perfect Weapon' is based on the book of the same name by The New York Times correspondent, David E. Sanger.



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