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TV sitcom opens up the world of penetration testing

Can they hack it?

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The world of penetration testing has become the unlikely topic of a new sitcom from Fox.

Breaking In, which is due to start a seven-episode run on 6 April, stars Christian Slater as a the leader of a team of security experts led to break into the networks of corporate clients. The marketing blurb for the show describes it as "offbeat" while comparing its team of ethical hacker stars to members of the fondly remembered '80s serial The A Team

Breaking In is an offbeat half-hour workplace comedy about a high-tech security firm that takes extreme – and often questionable – measures to sell their protection services. Created by Adam F Goldberg and Seth Gordon, the series centres on a team of uniquely skilled oddball geniuses hand-picked to work for a manipulative mastermind.

Contra Security, corporate America's answer to The A-Team, gives clients a sense of security by first ripping it away. The firm is led by OZ (Christian Slater), a larger-than-life head honcho who is a man of mystery and master of manipulation. The members of the odd squad include alluring bad girl MELANIE (Odette Yustman), who is in charge of lock-picking, safe-cracking and heart-breaking; and CASH (Alphonso McAuley), a fanboy who specialises in strategy, logistics and office pranks only a mad genius could think up.

Initial reaction from security experts is that the show can't help but be either unrealistic, unfunny or possibly both.

That's more a reaction to Hollywood's wildly inaccurate representation of the world of computer hacking in previous films than anything else, we'd guess. With a bit of luck – or perhaps and awful lot of luck Breaking In might do for computer security what pitch black comedy/drama Breaking Bad did for chemistry. ®

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