Track Down

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Track Down
Takedown 2000.jpg
Finnish DVD cover
Directed by Joe Chappelle
Written by Tsutomu Shimomura (book)
John Markoff (book)
David Newman
Leslie Newman
John Danza
Howard A. Rodman
Starring Skeet Ulrich
Russell Wong
Angela Featherstone
Donal Logue
Christopher McDonald
Master P
Amanda Peet
with Jeremy Sisto
Tom Berenger
Patrick Holland
James Pocock
Music by Chris Holmes
James Kole
Cinematography Dermott Downs
Edited by Joe Rabig
Distributed by Dimension Films
Release date
  • March 15, 2000 (2000-03-15)
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Track Down (also known as Takedown outside the United States), is a 2000 film about computer hacker Kevin Mitnick, based on the book Takedown by John Markoff and Tsutomu Shimomura. The film was directed by Joe Chappelle and stars Skeet Ulrich and Russell Wong.[1][2][3]


For years Kevin Mitnick had eluded federal agents while using the latest electronic gadgetry to break into countless computers and gain access to sensitive and valuable information. But when he breaches the system of leading computer crimes expert Tsutomu Shimomura, it sets off an epic chase through cyberspace between a pair of hard-driven geniuses operating on different sides of the law.[2]


The film was released to theaters in France as Cybertraque in 2000, then on DVD in Europe[4] as Takedown later, such as in Germany in May 2003.[5] It was released on DVD in the U.S. as Track Down in late 2004.[6]


Factual inaccuracies[edit]

In Kevin Mitnick's The Art of Deception, Mitnick states that both book and movie are "extremely inaccurate" and based on media hype. In the film, Mitnick and Shimomura meet twice, one of these meetings prompts Kevin to flee to Seattle. This meeting did not actually take place.

The film depicts Mitnick hacking into Shimomura's computers and stealing/deleting his files and software. Though Mitnick admits hacking Shimomura's computers using IP spoofing, he claims he never caused any damage to anyone by deleting files or data, merely copying source code of some software, out of curiosity.

The 2001 documentary "Freedom Downtime" tries to get behind some of the false rumors about Kevin Mitnick that ended up being presented as facts in the movie Track Down.

Lawsuit regarding alleged copyright violation[edit]

In 1997, California author Jonathan Littman wrote The Fugitive Game: Online with Kevin Mitnick, in which he presented Mitnick's side of the story.[7] Littman alleged that portions of the film were taken from his book without permission.[8]

As a result, Littman sued The Walt Disney Company and Miramax.[9]

Another copyright issue. The circuit displayed was copied without authority from this website. The creator of the stolen circuit appears amused.


In the "CMAD - Computer Misuse & Anomaly Detection Conference" scene of the movie the real Tsutomu Shimomura appears in the audience next to a heckler (Donal Logue).


  1. ^ "Track Down". Moviefone. 2004-09-28. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  2. ^ a b "Track Down: Movies & TV". Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  3. ^ "Track Down (2000) - Movie Details - Yahoo! Movies". Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  4. ^ Kevin Poulsen (2004-09-09). "Mitnick movie comes to the US", The Register. (SecurityFocus).
  5. ^ Joseph, Patrick (2004). "Takedown". Archived from the original on 2004-05-12. 
  6. ^ Leyden, Joe (2004-12-07) New U.S. Release: Track Down (Direct to Video). Variety.
  7. ^ Hafner, Katie. "The Fugitive Game: Online with Kevin Mitnick: Jonathan Littman: Books". Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  8. ^ Fost, Dan (May 4, 2000). "Movie About Notorious Hacker Inspires a Tangle of Suits and Subplots". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on August 19, 2012. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  9. ^ ZDNet staff (2 May 2000). "Author sues Disney for hacker movie". ZDNet. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 

External links[edit]