Cisco

Cisco

Cisco

Cisco

Anatomy of
an Attack

Titles, Screen & UI Graphics, Branding

Cisco used the power of narrative to convey how serious—and how easy—it is for hackers to bring down a business. I directed the graphics to tell this story for First Person.

Cisco used the power of narrative to convey how serious—and how easy—it is for hackers to bring down a business. I directed the graphics to tell this story for First Person.

Cisco used the power of narrative to convey how serious—and how easy—it is for hackers to bring down a business. I directed the graphics to tell this story for First Person.

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In 2016, First Person was commissioned by Cisco to produce a dramatic video showing the process by which a company gets hacked. The video needed to show how a hacker uses the internet, social media, email and publicly accessible information to engineer a phony persona and break in to a seemingly secure network.

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Screens from Scratch

Screens from Scratch

I had to design and plan all of the “screen sequences” which meant fidelity to how popular social networks and websites worked as well as an efficient method to animate, “shoot” and render dozens of separate UI sequences.

Each sequence needed a consistent visual treatment that mimicked the chromatic separation we see when shooting pixels up close, and this stylistic detail had to be easy to apply and animate depending on how different shots transitioned.

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Along with the UI closeups that made up the bulk of the “how” section in the video, we also worked out a distinct stylization for certain sequences that showed the panic and distress a company goes through once the damage of a major hack has been done.

Drawing on visual reference from glitch art, surveillance footage, and the aesthetic of LED macrophotography, an efficient process was worked out in After Effects to allow the team to quickly experiment with looks and apply the stylization to each shot.

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Pseudo-Branding

Pseudo-Branding

As we didn’t want to call out any actual real-world companies to be the hapless hacking victims, a wholly fictional brand had to be created.

“Qualicart” required a logo, typography, and color rules that, although fictional, still had to look and feel like a successful, modern tech company that existed in the real world. Everything from the company’s email signature to the cover of their quarterly report were designed to adhere to the pseudo-brand.

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A2 Poster

Anatomy of an Attack 2:

Anatomy of an Attack 2:

Anatomy of an Attack 2:

Anatomy of an Attack 2:

The Watering Hole

The Watering Hole

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The first Anatomy of An Attack » was a smashing success with both the client and its intended audience. Many who saw it walked away quite disturbed and worried about their own security vulnerabilities—exactly the effect Cisco had intended.

Screens from Scratch

When First Person was tasked to produce a follow-up in 2017, we knew we had to raise the stakes. The story, once again, would focus on an average hacker who utilized common vulnerabilities and security exploits that could be easily found on the internet. And, once again, a litany of screen animation, website recreation and macro UI rendering would tell the story of how an unscrupulous schmuck brings down a cutting edge company.

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Pseudo-Branding

Once again, I had to create a fictional company and its top level branding. This time, the company "Aupticon"—an optics research firm for autonomous vehicles— needed a logo, website, social media presence and official letterhead.

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My Role

Art Director

Agency

First Person

First Person

First Person

First Person

Creative Director

Ty Bardi

Project Manager

Cameron Baxter

Graphics Team

Scott Bartholemew
Junyoung "Pigle" Chung
Carlos Tsoi

© Casimir Fornalski 2010 – 2019

© Casimir Fornalski 2010 – 2019

Media is a tool. Be constructive.

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