Steven M. Bellovin, a computer science professor at Columbia, uncovered a startling fact. The launch code for all U.S. Minuteman nuclear missiles for 20 years used the same code: 00000000. Bellovin discovered this after finding a 2004 paper by Dr. Bruce G. Blair, a former Air Force officer who manned Minuteman silos.
The code itself wasn’t very secret, either. According to Karl Smallwood on Today I Found Out, Dr. Blair explained:
“Our launch checklist in fact instructed us, the firing crew, to double-check the locking panel in our underground launch bunker to ensure that no digits other than zero had been inadvertently dialed into the panel.”
All of this basically nullifies the plot to every military thriller film from the ’80s.