Live Free or Die Hard (released as Die Hard 4.0 outside North America), is a 2007 American action film, and the fourth installment in the Die Hard series. The film was directed by Len Wiseman and stars Bruce Willis as John McClane. The name was adapted from the state motto of New Hampshire, "Live Free or Die". The main plot finds McClane fighting a gang of cyber terrorists who plan to hack FBI computers. The film was based on the 1997 article "A Farewell to Arms" written for Wired magazine by John Carlin. The film's North American release date was June 27, 2007.
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A number of computer hackers upload programs they were paid to code to a woman named Mai Linh. Soon, all of the unknown hackers are killed by explosives wired to their computers. Mai uses the programs to cause a brief computer outage at the FBI Cyber-Security Division in the J. Edgar Hoover Building. The FBI responds by initiating a nationwide roundup of all known top hackers. NYPD detective John McClane is assigned to bring a hacker named Matthew "Matt" Farrell into FBI custody. McClane's unexpected arrival stops Farrell from unknowingly triggering the explosives meant for him. Mai has assassins as backup, but McClane protects Farrell and kills most of their attackers. The next day, Mai's boss and companion, Thomas Gabriel, gives her orders to initiate his plot. The first phase involves taking control of the transportation grid (especially traffic lights) and the stock market.
McClane takes Farrell to the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., where Farrell is questioned. FBI director Miguel Bowman is uninterested in his surmise: Farrell believes the terrorists are mounting a "fire sale" (where "everything must go") attack, exploiting the vulnerability of the nation's computer-controlled infrastructure. McClane and Farrell drive away in an FBI Police cruiser to a secure building, but Gabriel and Mai locate Farrell and divert them to gunmen waiting in a helicopter. In the ensuing firefight, McClane destroys the helicopter with the police cruiser.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, Gabriel televises a national broadcast of a fake video of the United States Capitol exploding, setting off a public panic. Farrell believes that the power grid will be the next target, and directs McClane to a utility superstation in West Virginia, where they find Mai and her henchmen. McClane kills all of them. When Gabriel tries to contact Mai, he reaches McClane instead, who taunts him with the news of his girlfriend's demise. Farrell transmits Gabriel's image to the FBI, allowing them to identify him. Enraged, Gabriel redirects all the natural gas in nearby pipelines to the station, but McClane and Farrell escape just before the resulting explosion causes a power outage across the East Coast. Farrell suggests they get help from his hacker friend, Frederick "Warlock" Kaludis.
Warlock locates the program Farrell created for Gabriel. It is being used in a Social Security Administration building at Woodlawn, Maryland, an unlikely target. They discover that it is actually a front for a highly classified government facility which Gabriel instituted during his tenure at the National Security Agency (NSA). In case of a total computer systems failure—such as the one Gabriel manufactured—every critical personal and financial record across the country is sent to servers there to create a backup. Gabriel's men take over the facility and start downloading a copy. Warlock is also able to explain Gabriel's motivation: a talented hacker, he was once a top expert for the NSA. However, he was fired and his reputation was tarnished when he tried to sound the alarm about America's vulnerability to cyber-warfare.
Gabriel detects Warlock's hack and speaks with him, McClane, and Farrell; he reveals that he has taken McClane's estranged daughter Lucy hostage. After Warlock traces Gabriel's location to Woodlawn, McClane and Farrell head there, where Farrell triggers an alarm in the facility to alert the FBI. As McClane deals with Gabriel's forces, Farrell encrypts the downloaded data to block access to it, but is captured. Gabriel and his men leave the facility, Farrell and Lucy in tow, before the FBI arrive. McClane hijacks Gabriel's
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