In the movie Skyfall Shouldn't Q like connect Silva's computer to a secure line or something, considering that he was a known cyberterrorist? Isn't there any sort of internal protocols for the networking system?

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    It seemed in the film that even Q realized he'd blundered by doing this. Commented May 18, 2013 at 13:58
  • Bcoz this Q was young, enthusiastic and naive. With inexperience comes a false sense of grandiosity!
    – Sayan
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 5:10

2 Answers 2


There is no proper reason whatsoever for him to link the unsecure device retrieved from an enemy to the network of MI6. The usual approach would be to treat it with the highest level of suspicion and analyze the hardware and contained data in a secure isolated environment, and Q should have known that, considering that he is supposed to be a genius IT specialist.

This is a trope called the Idiot Ball (warning: TvTropes link!):

A moment where a character's stupidity fuels an episode, or a small plot line.

If you are looking for a reasonable in-world explanation, one could come up with the following reasons for his mistake:

  • They had Silva captured and detained. They did not knew that this was part of his plan, so they may have had a false sense of security.
  • There was highly encrypted data on the device which he could probably decrypt faster by using the networks ressources.
  • Q is young and very sure of himself. He probably thought that the security measures he set in place were enough to protect the network from any kind of attack.

Still, that was a very stupid thing to do and for me was one of the biggest facepalm moments in the movie.

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    "one of the biggest facepalm moments in the movie" and that is against some pretty stiff competition!
    – Stefan
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 12:34

While I don't remember that specific scene (not sure I've even seen the movie), this sounds once again quite like something the writers made up just for the story. As such it's rather hard to answer why Q would do it (because it's the same reason: just for the plot).

Unless you've got some really nasty bug in your operating system or some insecure autorun policies set, there shouldn't happen anything once you connect a drive (and you don't try to execute something on it). Everything on it is just inactive/passive data.

There could be additional safeguards built into the hardware (similar to drive encryption), but once again that's unlikely to cause any side-effects outside; at least nothing software only (other than potentially reading wrong information).

If he intended to execute something on the drive, then yes, you're right, it's very careless.

Although, to be honest, I'd try to create a copy of the drive (so it's unable to destroy the data on it itself) and then mount that in a virtual machine (so it won't be able to destroy my soft-/hardware). It's not just about disconnecting from the network (you'd most likely do it on isolated hardware to begin with; so you wouldn't have to worry about disconnecting first).

  • Well, he certainly did execute something or view some files on the hard drive, since he and James were actively trying to decrypt this stylish underground-network-plan-code. So it wasn't that he just plugged it in and everything started to burn. But I agree that this wasn't particularly intelligent or reasonable an action.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 7:56
  • Yep, but even then it's questionable what's used to view that data. You can download a virus or trojan, open it with Notepad, etc. this won't get you infected.
    – Mario
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 8:42
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    There exists something called "autorun" which is a simple (ini) file that links to an executable to be called when the device is plugged in, just like with install cd's. Still it is really stupid to have this feature not disabled (which is a simple thing to do) and plugin a device. Downloading a Trojan/virus just to "read it" can still get you effected, have a look at Macro virusses, though I guess something as simple as notepad is quite secure.
    – invalid_id
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 9:28
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    Not only is there autorun, but drivers may be malicious, drives can interface on a hardware level with other hardware in the system by directly accessing the bus, file inclusion vulnerabilities, various ways of executing malware, 9day vulnerabilities, and many other ways of exploiting a system. Attaching malicious hardware is an insane or completely uninformed act.
    – atk
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 14:38
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    0day, not 9day... stupid phone keyboard :-)
    – atk
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 14:55

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