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MTV Hacker Saga Gets Worse

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the mtv-screws-up-again dept.

The Internet 187

weld writes "Now Shamrock, one of the MTV hackers portrayed as involved in some sort of criminal behavior, has posted a letter saying he made it all up. He now wants to come clean. He made it all up to dupe MTV because he knew all they wanted was criminal hacking stories. The journalistic integrity of this "special" is under serious question now. HNN has posted Shamrock's letter to the hacking community. " Check out our original story on this to get the full details.

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MTV is the tabloid of hip culture... (2)

smoondog (85133) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604816)

I think that /. and the rest of the online geek community should just move on from caring about what MTV thinks. As this sort of lifestyle moves farther into the limelight, this sort of thing is just going to get worse. We don't post enquirer articles that say computer programs predict the future, why should we post this junk? But maybe if the Enquirer was online....

-- Moondog

Typical MTV nonsense. (1)

berniecase (20853) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604817)

They're always trying to steal 'me lucky charms.


Why is this thread not showing up? (1)

EverCode (60025) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604818)

There is nothing here....database problems?

Uh.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604829)

He really didn't say anything useful except that "MTV is bullshit" in more ways than I can count. I guess the critical issue is this: he never really gave me a clear indication of what he thinks a hacker is. Maybe there's something I'm just not drawing a conclusion from based on the fact that I didn't watch the MTV thing and don't really consider HNN to be a hacker resource by any means (mainly because aside from looking at cracked pages and trivial things like this link, there's nothing tangile I ever see on there that I don't see on Slashdot first.. and how is cracking a hacker thing? maybe I just haven't stared at HNN long enough to get it.. but then, my time is already monopolized by "other" things). I think he'd get more credibility points if a) he defined what he thinks a hacker is and b) he spelled better/used proper English (sorry, low blow I know, but hey..).

MTV (1)

FascDot Killed My Pr (24021) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604830)

The journalistic integrity of this "special" is under serious question now.

"Now"? Is there ANYONE, in or out of the hacker community, who takes ANYTHING MTV says seriously?

I don't know if this is good or bad (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604831)

So, after making sure MTV really only wanted some sordid story about a massive criminal underground, this guy gave it to them, and now is pointing the journalistic integrity finger at MTV. I don't know who's worse.

I also doubt this will make everyone believe the media conspiracy of convenience this guy espouses. No doubt it exists, as he just proved, but I'm not sure if the form of the proof is all that helpful to the general public. I doubt anyone outside the cracker and hacker communities will ever hear about the tale this guy spun, and they'll end up believing what they see on MTV.

Oh, well.

the new Real World:Hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604832)

the people at MTV should gather all these so called Hackers and create a RealWorld.

Back and forth and back and forth.. (1)

gleam (19528) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604833)

Shamrock got a lot of flak on HNN if i remember correctly.. I wonder if he saw that, or if his friends started giving him trouble for it, as well. There's no one the underground community dislikes more than a bragging cracker.


I can't read this (2)

billh (85947) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604834)

I could only manage to read a few paragraphs of this before I had to stop. The spelling was terrible, the grammar was terrible. In short, it looked as if he didn't bother to read what he had wrote before submitting this.

I know I am off topic with this, but this is just one example of low standards of grammar and spelling endemic throughout this community. At the very least, can't people run spell checkers? Why are geeks so bad at this?

By the way, loose != lose. I left a couple of errors in this post, because everyone knows the rules of spelling and grammar flames, but the question still remains. How can people be so good with code, where the smallest errors can make the biggest difference, and still write so poorly?

Bwahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604835)

Well, I guess we already knew MTV sucked, and now they're going to have to issue a statement about how the whole thing was staged. I'll bet about 90% of the MTV viewers will be like "Whoa, fake hax0rez? Dood, wheres my KGB, its almost 420" and get on with their lives. However, Hopefully this will lead the more mainstream media to uncloak fakes such as Se7en and CPM more often. This incident reminds me of Jericho's talk on "Fakes Walk Among Us" where the media attending the event concluded that experts were experts because they had been in so many magazine articles. MTV didn't even really go after a purported expert to be on their show, they went after a bucha kiddiez. Serves them right :) How much do you wanna bet that MTV thought they were 31337 because they had a Linux box somewhere?

Huh? (1)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604836)

Since when has MTV been accused of being serious journalism?
^~~^~^^~~^~^~^~^^~^^~^~^~~^^^~^^~~^~~ ~^~~^~

Re:MTV duped! (2)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604837)

"We can't beat 'em, we may as well play with them."

That's possibly the worst attitude towards journalism I've ever seen. Are you serious?

So what about after you've played with them? What then? I'll tell you - then everyone who reads or sees this media that you've faked is lead to believe that it's true. This MTV special wasn't meant to be a joke for hackers, it was meant to be a story to give outsiders insight into what the life of a hacker is like. I don't have any pity for MTV for bungling it, but for you to place all of the blame on them is ridiculous. This kid lied. You can't blame the victim for being a victim.

It's the same argument over and over again: Who's fault is it when a cracker breaks into your system? Your's for leaving it insecure? Or his for breaking the law and trespassing in a private network? Only now it's "Who's fault is it when a crappy broadcast goes over? The networks for believing the people they interview? Or the interviewees for lying through their teeth and making a mockery of the whole issue?"

The entire thing makes me sick.


"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

Re:Impressive buck passing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604838)

Badly *spelled*, even.

Smirk..Snicker.. (2)

Thomas Charron (1485) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604841)


Was there ever a doubt that this 'kid' was making it up? You could TELL he really, REALLY wasn't the real thing.. I just wrote it off as me steroetyping the kid, but apperently my first guess was right..

MTV duped.. AHAHA! (1)

Sehnsucht (17643) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604843)

LOL.. If I had watched it, this would have prolly
been obvious too, but...

Heh, serves the morons right.

MTV is NOT a news station anyways - they're entertainment (tho the same could be said about most 'news' stations too.. hah) !

So... thats what you get when you don't check your sources ;)

Impressive buck passing (1)

rde (17364) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604847)

In the first sentence, he apologises. For the rest of the paragraph he blames MTV. Wow.
This reads like one huge, badly-spelt, ass-covering exercise. However true it (or most, or some of) it is, it does no credit to hackers or crackers. Script kiddies, maybe.
MTV were to blame in the manner he suggests; they're just interested in sensationalist crap. For our hacking chum to pretend he wasn't aware of this is, let's say, interesting.

Hmmm.... (1)

Your_Mom (94238) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604848)

How should we take this. Is he a real hacker that was just taking MTV 'for a ride' or is he just really a script kiddie who is now up to his neck in flames say "oh no! I was only a JOKE!!!!!" I dunno.

Maybe I jsut won't watch TV anymore...

Well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604851)

as a viewer of ParseTV [] and a semi-friend of Shamrock and Mantis, I know how he views the hacker/cracker thing, and the stuff he said in the "special" go against stuff I've heard him say before, so I'm sure he made all the stuff up to give MTV what they wanted. Until the whole world becomes geeks like us, any non geek will view a hacker/cracker as the way this special, and others portray them... you need to be a nerd to realize what's true and what's not.

MTV duped! (1)

cthonious (5222) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604853)

This reminds me a little of the anecdote about Time magazine when the "grunge" thing was just starting to become a fad.

They wanted a big story on it, and interviewed a few bands, who fed them all sorts of crap they made up off the top of their heads. Of course the article had nothing to do with reality. That was hilarious.

We can't beat 'em, we may as well play with them.

If they interviewed me, I would have them take pictures of me using an ancient DOS AT-286, talking about how many banks I'd hacked and how I regularly break into government computers.

I see why MTV believed him. (2)

TheKodiak (79167) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604855)

His random spelling of any polysyllabic word must have assured them he had street cred.

Do we have any reason to believe this retraction?

Journalistic Integrity? (1)

Keel (11611) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604856)

*sarcasm*MTV's journalistic integrity is in question? Noooo. This can't be.*/sarcasm*

It shouldn't be surprising that MTV is not interested in the true story of hackers, which is usually only interesting to other hackers. They can get much better ratings from the Hollywood-inspired bull. I honestly wonder if our response to this should be to simply ignore it.


Um...... (1)

JM_the_Great (70802) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604857)

Is this telling us anything we didn't already know? I mean c'mon, getting a disk before the Police? Hacking in windoze? Ping -f 60110?!? Maybe were the gullable ones.

Anyway, I guess it was nice of him to come clean. Actually, I think it would have been cool if their `prank' had actually worked. How many people get to write their own script and have it put on MTV?

However, I think it would have been really cool if I had actually seen a `[ /]#' somewhere in the thing. Or maybe a Perl script being edited in Emacs (instead of Notepad). Or.................maybe..............they could have printed up little skulls (like in Independence Day) on NASA's computers and showed a flash of light falling to earth that was the Space Shuttle. Then again....

That's my $(2^4*3+1/7%3*2/100)

might MTV take legal recourse? (1)

ywwg (20925) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604858)

IANALNDIPOOTV, but I have a feeling MTV could sue these people for "misrepresentation" or something like that. If this story gets beyond slashdot and out into popular media, I don't think MTV is going to be able to ignore the issue. I see two possible responses from MTV:

1) Ignore the problem, shrug it off

2) Sue.

Worse english than Hemos :-) (3)

anticypher (48312) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604859)

Do you think Shamrock really has worse spelling and grammar than Hemos, or did he Hemosize his article to get Hemos to post it?

So, the guy hacks MTV, pulls one over on them, and now is trying to explain himself to the hacking community. Something is fishy.

Shamrock and his coworkers need to get together and present every fact of their side of the story. Dates, places, names of MTV flacks, what got said, what got rejected. If they do that, then I will have more confidence this was a real media hack, and not some snotty wannabe script-kiddie who pulled a fast one and found himself in shit.

But given the shallowness of MTV, it is not surprising some illiterate kid could take them for a ride. Didn't see the show myself, but from descriptions here on /. it sounded exactly like entertainment, not a documentary. When was the last time someone turned to MTV for their journalistic capabilities?

I expect a lot of "told you so" here on /. but the server isn't serving up the other replies for the moment. The best thing slashdotters could do is ignore this, or at least name and shame MTV.

the AC

I don't buy his explaination... (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604860)

He's now trying to save face after his ego trip blew up in it.

Re:every day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604861)

MTV has lost its touch with specific users who found rock music to be tastefull. Since MTV because more about soft rock, R&B, and dance, I can understand how the Metallica lovin', TOOL listenin', and Nirvana worshpin' folks left as soon as Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and N'SYNC sucks the mighty beach house tikki god off. MTV doesn't care about the viewer. They just got for the hip hot shite (Yes, shite). They got rid of Kennedy (The best female VJ on MTV) and Head Bangers Ball (The greatest show BESIDES "The State") which was a another great show.

Spelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604862)

He should have ran his letter through a spell checker once before sending it off... though I have to admit, those are the most comical spelling errors I've seen in a while...

Re:I see why MTV believed him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604863)

The spelling, grammar, and sentence structure were so bad that I was unable to muster the effort to extract any semblance of meaning from it.

a truly pathetic effort, and that's a shame as it might have been an interesting read.

oh well.

This reminds me of the Sokol hoax ... (1)

Zach Frey (17216) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604864)

... except on a popular culture outlet rather than on academia.

(For those who don't know, Alan Sokal [] is the professor who managed to get an article arguing that gravity is an arbitrary social construct accepted to a peer-reviewed journal, and promptly revealed that he had written it to see if they really would publish such a piece of obvious nonsense. The Editors Were Not Amused.)

"Television is the first truly democratic culture -- the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want."
-- Clive Barnes

Re:might MTV take legal recourse? (1)

billh (85947) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604865)

Okay, that is it. I need to get away from computers and technology for a while. I managed to read your whole post straight through. Which wouldn't be odd, except for that acronym, which I didn't even think about.

Uh huh.. (1)

JimStoner (93831) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604876)

Surely you mean "he spelt better" *smiles*

Re:Impressive buck passing (1)

rde (17364) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604877)

Badly *spelled*, even.
Spell \Spell\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spelledor Spelt; p. pr. & vb. n. Spelling.] -- Websters

It's funny but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604878)

If you pretend to be a hijacker on a plane you get your butt thrown in Jail...

I think the cops should go around to the chaps house and anything which looks remotely like a computer, jail him indefinatly and give him the computer back the stuff in 20 years time. See how cool he feels then.

I knew it (1)

GRIFTERONE (102483) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604879)

Hahahah. I hate the morons at MTV. It is great that they were fooled by this bullshit. I watched about ten minutes of it. The part about his buddy getting arrested and then them actually able to go to his apartment and take something from it. Yeah right. No cop is that stupid. HAHAHHA

Maybe Feds starting rattling his cage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604880)

Gov't is looking HARD to hang a cracker. Mitnick. That Melissa virus guy. They want a whipping boy to scare others away from the "glamouous cracking" that Hollywood continues to portray. And this guy probably got scared that he could become that whipping boy. It's like why cDc calls Back Orifice a "remote administration" tool. After all, it's now illegal to write viruses and trojan horse programs. Do YOU want to become the fed's test case for this new law?

Stupid People! (1)

Monica (16179) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604881)

We waited for months to see if they would be realistic and after it was obvious that they wouldn't we figured the only option would be to discredit them with as much fiction as possible).

This is the most immature thing I have ever heard about journalism. If MTV's getting it wrong, then why couldn't Shamrock et al. help them out? Or if you see that the show is going to be bad, and there is no way they're going to get it right, then the mature thing to do is get out of the show, and let MTV do their stupid thing without you involved. It's just plain dumb to be part of a badly-executed project and then apologize for it. Why be involved with it in the first place?

The only reason I can see Shamrock stayed with it is to be on MTV. Sure, I want to be on MTV too, but I'm not gonna spread misinformation to gullible preteens to get there.

Re:I see why MTV believed him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604882)

Yep, Slashdot's pretty bad, alright. Oh, and that hacker kid's story was rather poorly-written, too.

Re:MTV duped! (1)

galadriel (42210) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604883)

Wait, now...he said he pointed MTV to some legit hacker sources, and MTV came back saying they wanted more--and that they clearly wanted sensationalism.

In that case I'd've given them some carefully crafted sensationalism, hanging on to proof that it was all fake... if they didn't get it from me they'd get it from somebody else. So if I could prove that that was what they were after AND I could discredit what they were going to do anyway, that's what I'd do, in that case.

I agree that the guy who was in this position and just wrote his retraction could have handled it much better. Still, if they were _clearly_ looking for something faked and sensational-looking, I think the best approach was the one he took.

Just a kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604884)

Sometimes they are smart, but make lots of mistakes.

Derf (1)

Tasty (93488) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604885)

as a viewer of ParseTV and a semi-friend of Shamrock and Mantis, I know how he views the hacker/cracker thing, and the stuff he said in the
"special" go against stuff I've heard him say before, so I'm sure he made all the stuff up to give MTV what they wanted. Until the whole world
becomes geeks like us, any non geek will view a hacker/cracker as the way this special, and others portray them... you need to be a nerd to realize
what's true and what's not.


(OT) WARNING: This article not worth moderating (2)

ashpool7 (18172) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604896)

Interesting how moderators haven't wasted any positive points on any posts to this article (at the 64 post point). All I see is one typical -1 to the anonymous first post. Even the geeks who post by default at 2 don't have anything really interesting to say.

Should this tip us off that this isn't worth front page on Slashdot? Most of the posts are about how stupid MTV or this "hacker" is. Hemos, take Foogle's advice [] and move on to "more serious news". (Resist the temptation to moderate this up :)

this is a hack (4)

Absynthe (34189) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604897)

This is a hack in the most classic sence of the word. If I had thought of this and thought I could get MTV to produce my own production I'd have jumped on it in a heartbeat, the only thing I'm angry about it that I didn't think of it first. Obviously his vision didn't come across and that's probably why the tone is so apologetic, it was something of a failure but I love the concept, reality hacking is the best :)
I produce video and it's frustrating, any independent film maker will tell you that starting out, you lie, cheat and steal to get the actors, props, editing equipment, you'll spend hours playing rope a dope with police sending them back and forth between people who "have the permit" and try and get your shot in one take before they kick you out. This was almost slick :)

What the hell is he apologizing for???? (1)

Randy Rathbun (18851) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604898)

This man should be commended and held up for the world to see! He pulled a media hack that got a whole cable network show devoted to it. Only Joey Skaggs [] has done better at this than I know of, and that is because Joey has been pulling these media hacks for years!

941415926518293950285123123568785948184839358193 948913958495
80124569890476636201512012315668018651125564087489 7980465063

Re:MTV duped! (1)

platypus (18156) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604899)

This MTV special wasn't meant to be a joke for hackers, it was meant to be a story to give outsiders insight into what the life of a hacker is like.
Nope, it wasn't, that's the problem.
They pointed MTV to the real sources, he explicitly states this. MTV had their chance, but it was clear they didn't want to give any insight, they wanted a story.
He gave them the story.
The only difference is that he didn't let mtv blow a big bubble for themselves but he "helped" them without their knowledge.

Re:I can't read this (0)

PHroD (1018) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604900)

its called debugging :P

"There is no spoon" - Neo, The Matrix

Re:I can't read this (1)

jwy (73876) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604901)

How can people be so good with code, where the smallest errors can make the biggest difference, and still write so poorly?

Compilers. When you're used to having a constant spell/grammar checker, it's easy to let your writing get sloppy.

Re:I see why MTV believed him. (1)

kootch (81702) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604902)

so the fact that he typed in monosylabic words and substituted alphanumeric symbols into his words gives him creed as a hacker? hehe, I like that.

so to be l33t, you have to spell porn as pr0n and use all the funky IRC channel abbreviations and type things such as "stfu" and "lol" and all that other jazz... and be sure to throw in some :-) or :P~ (he's drooling) and then the non-techy middle-aged businessmen that are trying to make a movie out of this all will just not be able to relate so they'll assume you're a cyber punk, and if you throw in some blue or green hair, a few piercings, say you don't like politics, worship linux, damn M$, and look like any of the characters out of "Hackers (the movie)" and then you'll get an interview.

I love what the world is becoming... a society based on stereotypical nothings.

Re:This reminds me of the Sokol hoax ... (1)

Enoch Root (57473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604903)

Except that Sokal's hoax was much more elaborate and thought out.

I had the chance to read the article before it was exposed as a hoax (gotta love Philosophy Ph.D. friends) and we were in stitches. We knew there was something phony about it, and the conclusions were wrong; but the argument was strong and flawless. Of course, you had to know the authors that were (mis)quoted to realise what amount of B$ he was pushing.

It's worth a read, even though it's purposefully cryptic. It's as strong an argument against post-modernism, deconstructionism and feminist revisionism I have ever seen, doing so by using their own tools.

Sokal also argued that Quantum mechanics was a chauvinistic contruct that didn't withstand a feminist argument.

Pure beauty. :)

Sokal pulled a great one with this hoax, whereas Shamrock only fed a guillible media to begin with. Sokal had skill, wits and intelligence, and Shamrock just took an easy opportunity and milked them for all its worth. The first one is tricky and thoughtful, but the MTV hoax is much more far-reaching. It is an easier target, however.

"There is no surer way to ruin a good discussion than to contaminate it with the facts."

Re:MTV duped! (1)

minkyboodle (102239) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604904)

Well if MTV was a little bit more intellegent then none of this would of happened nuff said

Re:I can't read this (1)

Myddrin (54596) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604905)

Not that jr. here is brilliant or anything.
(And this is offtopic so I won't be offended if it's mod'ted down). But discover did an article in '89 or '90 on why so called brilliant people (Einstien, Heminway, Fitzgerald, Poe, etc.) couldn't spell or follow basic grammar rules....

They claimed that it was a very minor case of dyslexia that was so slight that it went undiagnosed.

Personally my first computer (a commodore 64) was purchased for me because I was A+'ing everything but spelling in elementary school. To this day I still can't spell worth a hill of beans.... ALL PRAISE SPELL/GRAMMAR checkers!

Uhhh... (1)

Boolean (15853) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604906)

Out of curiosity, did any of you actually think this was real? If so, what kind of smoke are you cracking?

Re:MTV duped! (2)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604907)

You're saying that it was okay for him to deceive MTV because they asked for it?? You really believe that, just because his "cover-my-ass" letter said so? There's no justication for this sort of lying. It didn't serve any purpose but to give him and his script-kid buddies something to laugh about. Well he got what he wanted and then people started flaming him for it, so now he's trying to cover it up by saying, "Oh, we meant for it to be stupid".

Reality time: Shamrock was trying to look cool. He knew he was going to be on one of the most popular networks in America and he took advantage of that fact. Don't believe for a second that this was all crafted out from the beginning. Well actualy it was, but not with the intention of making MTV look bad - it was meant to make him look "3l33t".


"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

metacomment (OT) (5)

meersan (26609) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604908)

Summary of first 50 comments of this thread:
  • The statement: This is not a surprise.
  • The variation: No surprises here.
  • The minimalist: No big surprise.
  • The advice-giver: Do not be surprised.
  • The sarcastic: Surprise!
  • The Seinfeld: Why am I not surprised?
  • The Homer: Doh!
  • The erudite: To be expected...
  • The insightful: MTV Sucks
  • The +2 insightful: Journalists Suck

All code and no slashdot makes meersan a dull gal, you know.

Re:MTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604909)

MTV has been a terrible channel ever since they stopped doing what the original goal was, to play music.

I hope that everyone realizes how terrible of a channel MTV is these days and stops watching it.

I wish I could get my wife to stop watching it. She's not even in their demographic anymore.

As this news feature shows, their "news" organization has no credibility. I really hate it when they try to report on news that has nothing to do with music. The worst is their "Rock the Vote" campaigns, where they present terribly one-sided views of issues, and then tell the otherwise politically-apathetic kids that it is their duty to go vote. Scary.

Re:Impressive buck passing (1)

mistabobdobalina (29109) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604910)


Even worse MTV TRUTH series (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604911)

True Life: Sex RX ER meets the Real World as MTV goes behind the scenes at a sexual health clinic.

I faked the whole thing! That was a stunt penis! The stuff on it was a piece of olive loaf.

I'm confused (1)

ryanr (30917) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604912)

I watched the MTV special with a critical eye. I had some questions about who was taking themselves seriously.

I've read the follow up letter.

I still have no idea which parts I'm supposed to believe and which I'm supposed to disbelieve.

The statements from the L0pht guys and JP were very short. I'm a fan of the L0pht, and would have liked to have seen more. I'm no fan of JP, but honestly he wasn't on long enough to make himself look bad.

I was suspicious about the "disk thing" having seen Hackers, the movie. I expected that the guys were putting Serena on to some degree, as most hackers (at least the ones who would appear on MTV) love attention. They will put on a show if you give them a chance. Don't forget that at least 2 of the guys allready went to the trouble of getting their own TV show of sorts.

What I want to know is how much was Serena acting and sensationalizing? Was she really shocked that someone knew that she had 2 VM boxes? Was her e-mail really hacked, or did she just screw up her password, or was it all staged?

important (1)

eries (71365) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604926)

This is an important, perhaps even landmark event. We all know that the mainstream media doesn't "get it" but now I think it's pretty clear that they simply have no interest in the world as we experience it.

Usually, when these things happen, we just whine about how alternative and non-mainstream our culture is. But I think it's time to seriously consider whether or not the mainstream is actually worth interacting with.

If so, then I think we need to organize a concerted campaign to combat the kind of superficial and distorting content that MTV is pushing.

If not, then we need to seriously think about ways that we can insulate ourselves from the negative impact of things like this MTV "special." Is it time to defend ourselves and our "culture?"

I don't claim to know the answer to this question, but I think it's something important to discuss and consider carefully.


Crapola (1)

tomblackwell (6196) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604927)

I'd love for that to happen, but their target demographic is only interested in cute boys and watching drunken co-eds **paaaaarrttyyyy** on spring break. They aren't interested in such difficult pursuits as listening to good music or thinking.

If you were a baker.. (1)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604928)'d avoid the word "spelt" at all costs. Now I have a bad taste in my mouth.. Ugh..

Re:Why pay journalists? Do your own research! (1)

Mark F. Komarinski (97174) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604929)

Unfortunately, with the way cable systems are set up, this is next to impossible. There is no picking and choosing of channels (except the premium ones anyway). I am really paying for stuff like ESPN*, MTV*, and PAX, when I never had any interest in their programming. However, I'm required to have those channels to get the ones that I am interested in seeing.

This means that a good portion of my cable bill is spent going to pay for channels I don't want (Golf channel? c'mon!).

All that aside, I'm sure someone spending the enitre day watching ESPN* would say the same thing about A&E, TLC, and SCI-FI.

MTV does Faces of Death! (1)

fiddleback (103868) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604930)

I had the misfortune to catch the Hacker show on MTV in a vain attempt at finding some music videos. I could not believe what I saw. I didn't think that there would be anyone, labeling themselves as a hacker, dumb enough to blurt out on national TV that they committed 'computer fraud'. I thought, man this has to be like those Faces of Death flicks. 80% fake and 20% real.

After I read Shamrock's letter I realized that I wasn't far off the mark. Except the 20% real part. This whole special was a farce. It's slander. If this is their idea of journalism how many other stories covering important issues were skewed for the sake of sensationalism?

BTW, I almost busted a gut during the end credits. They showed Sarena Alshults(sp?) being the apparent victim of evil hackers and she stated how violated she felt. Hmm, from what I saw it looked as though she just didn't type in her password correctly, due to the fact she seemed to finally get on her account after repeated attempts. Obviously it's those nosey hacker kids. Damn them.

I Remain Dubious (3)

ewhac (5844) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604931)

Shamrock simply asserts without corroborative evidence that, "We faked it."

If you were a lame-brained criminal and realized you had been caught on camera, isn't it possible that one of your alibis might be, "Hey, I was just foolin' ya, to make y'all look stupid."

Personally, I would like to believe Shamrock's story. Any organization that would retain someone like Jesse -- a person so amazingly annoying that he can cause nose bleeds at 300 yards -- is, without question, in serious need of reality adjustment (not to mention attitude adjustment). But until I see some corroborative evidence (such as a detailed timeline or affidavits from the police officers), I'm going to take this story with a grain of salt.


Re:MTV is the tabloid of hip culture... (1)

Myddrin (54596) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604933)

Woah now little buffalo, you give MTV WAAAAHAY to much credit here. Even the Enquirer checks facts on occasion, and as for hip...I think Husker Du was still together the last time you could call MTV hip.... (possibly even Joy Division). MTV seriously has been a joke since 1984ish, I mean look at the "stars" they have built-up to the point of a frenzy and then tore apart... (Vinilla Ice, Snow, Debbie Gibson, Tiffiny, Milli Vanilli, etc.). It's definately not cool to shove these people down our throats and then turn around and make them into a joke. [I'm not a fan of any of the above, but I do feel sorry for them because of the way they were butt-raped by the music industry.]

A good point... (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604935)

"Shamrock" makes a good point in his letter: How much of what presented as fact in the media is actually totally fabricated? How much of the daily news is fiction? We really have no way of knowing unless we are really at the scene and know everyone involved.

Mass-media is produced for the 90% of the world's consumers: spoon-fed to these room-temperature IQs who have never had an original thought in their entire lives. It is truly freightening how much of an impact modern media has on public opinion.

He's right though. Well-researched journalism and factual reporting doesn't sell soft drinks.

Re:MTV duped! (1)

galadriel (42210) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604937)

) You're saying that it was okay for him to deceive MTV because they asked for it??
) You really believe that, just because his "cover-my-ass" letter said so?

Heh, actually, no. I just said that in the situation he presents (which has no baring on whether it's actually accurate or if he's making it up to cover his ass), what he did is what I'd do.

Just 'cause I'd do it, or I think it would be the right thing to do in such a situation, doesn't mean I think it's entirely okay. :)

Pretty Much Out to Lunch (1)

jay_rf (94626) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604938)

This person, Shamrock, doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground (yeah I know I am lacking originality but hey - it works). He is covering his ass because he realized he made a mistake. Look at the damn facts:

  1. Knucklehead never brought up programming
  2. never mentioned open source at all
  3. focused on criminal activities

Shamrock doesn't even know what a hacker is, all of the references made allude towards crackers not hackers. Why was there no effort made to inform MTV from the start that they were actually looking for crackers?

This idiot tried to be someone he was not and as a result managed to f'k up an already badly damaged image, hell, most crackers have somewhat good intentions as well - to share exploits and learn how to stop them. Without crackers how would we know if there is a hole to be breached?

It all boils down to the fact that Shamrock never gives any correct definitions and vaguely states what really happened the same way I blind my boss with bullshit after accidentally nuking a user process I didn't mean to (okay - I probably meant to) with some crap like the ipcs table spilled over into vacuum space.

The guy is covering his ass because he is an idiot and realized he made a mistake - period.

MTV hacking special (1)

fprintf (82740) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604946)

The whole special was a joke, and now that the show has been "cracked" by one of its subjects, all I can say is "Ha Ha!". :-P

As for journalistic integrity, when has MTV, MTV news, or any of the other Real World (TM) stuff had integrity? Everything on that network is made up for teeney-boppers.

Well duh... (1)

sqrlbait5 (67782) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604947)

"The journalistic integrity of this "special" is under serious question now."

As if it wasn't before?

MTV (1)

mybox (102459) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604948)

MTV has been a terrible channel ever since they stopped doing what the original goal was, to play music. I hope that everyone realizes how terrible of a channel MTV is these days and stops watching it. If everyone continues to watch MTV, even though it sucks then everything will continue going the way it is and it'll get even worse(if that is possible). If it took this latest "True Life" special about hacking to make you all realize that kind of shit MTV puts on the air, then something is wrong.. real wrong. MTV will put anything on the air that will draw more people to watching them, without even checking out anything on that show to see if it is *true*. Look at shows like the Real World and Road Rules, do you think any of the shit that happens on there is what REALLY happens? do you think that is all that happens on there, or are there times when everything is fine that they cut out so the viewers don't get bored watching their shit? if everyone keeps giving attention to MTV in ANY FORM, MTV will continue getting worse. I hope one of these days MTV will be back to its original format, music and just music!

every day (0)

PHroD (1018) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604950)

i hate Empty-V (MTV) more and more for its lack of originality and thoughtfulness (and lack of cluefulness)

Kinda like the M$ of the TV universe...not an original bone in their collective bodies (MTV stopped being cool when Headbangers Ball got cancelled ;) )

"There is no spoon" - Neo, The Matrix

As if... (1)

vertseven (79013) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604952)

As if we didn't know: a kid with a scanner and no clue about computers He's just a media whore. And MTV payed for it.

Isn't this a surprise (1)

choctaw (102631) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604954)

As if MTV's journalistic integrity wasn't in question enough, now this. Perhaps at least it will convince other "mainstream" journalists to verify everything and get some background before they post or write a story like this again.

Does anybody take MTV seriously though? (4)

Victor Ng (18609) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604956)

C'mon folks. We're criticizing MTV for having low journalistic standards. Is this for real? IT'S MUSIC TELEVISION for crying out loud. I don't care how "polished" the programs are, nobody in their right mind should take anything on TV (much less MTV) at face value. People keep complaining about how the media "brainwashes" people or frames the range of discussion along safe lines or whatever Chomsky'esque criticism happens to be in vogue these days. Well how about this: when you watch TV - THINK a little bit. It's not that hard. But I'm preaching to the converted. Victor "silence - I'm watching television" Ng

MTVs best points... (1)

wolfman1 (81263) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604957)

Seems like they should stick to showing more of 'Beach MTV' ... sorry I'd rather watch bikini clad women than a news piece on hackers any day!

you know you've been a geek to long when... (1)

delmoi (26744) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604958)

MTV has lost its touch with specific users who found rock music to be tastefull.

uh... users??
"Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"

Re:Stupid People! (1)

TheKodiak (79167) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604959)

If you believe everything Shamrock wrote, he did try to help them by pointing them in the right direction, and only did what he did as a "last resort" to make it completely obvious that it was a complete... uh... sham, as it were.

Not that I necessarily believe everything he wrote. But I do concede that there are times when an article is being composed with so little journalistic integrity that planting obvious misinformation is the only way to make that obvious to the consumer of the article. Unfortunately, I don't think Shamrock succeeded in planting 'obvious misinformation,' if that was indeed his intent.

I said it before. . . (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604960)

. . . and I'll say it again. What the hell were you expecting from MTV?

If you want good, thorough, intelligent, unbiased journalism, you don't go to MTV, you go to. . . um. . . any ideas?

"The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."

Not hardly (2)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604961)

Yes, MTV was definitely looking for something sensational. They didn't want to run a show that would bore their audience. So does that make it okay for Shamrock to give them false sensationalism? If had said to them "everything I'm telling you is a big fat lie" they would've said "See you later kid". They weren't asking for this. They just thought they'd found someone who had a worthy story to tell.

The bottom line is that Shamrock intentionally misrepresented himself in order to get on national TV. That's so utterly pathetic, that I can't even believe anyone would go to bat for him. I'm no fan of MTV - not at all - I just think that this script-kiddie is trash and shouldn't be treated as if he had some sort of lofty goal in doing all of this.


"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

Re:I can't read this (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604962)

...and this is different from most every one else how?

k3W1 spelling aside, I don't find computer people to be much worse than, say, Time magazine. Standards of grammar are going into the toilet with great alacrity. You can hardly pick up a newspaper or magazine without reading something that should send any high school English teacher into hysterics (at least those teachers who actually teach English, as opposed to false self-esteem, Ebonics, or whatever moronic fad is plaguing the educators these days).

Look at Apple Computer's "Think Different". How about "Think DifferentLY"? But let's face it, the marketroids aren't worrying about offending the sensibilities of a few people in their attempt to maintain the image that Apple is some kind of groovy, unconventional outfit.

Get used to it, it's only going to get worse.

Re:Stupid People! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604963)

If MTV's getting it wrong, then why couldn't Shamrock et al. help them out?

Because MTV wasn't acting in good faith. When someone like that starts getting in your face, there's no chance of enlightening them. Mocking them and exposing them is the correct strategy.

The worst possible scenario would be that MTV started showing a mixture of their bullshit along with the truth. People might sometimes recognize the truth and then assume the bullshit is a part of it. As long as they remain completely disreputable, they are harmless.

the ACM? (1)

delmoi (26744) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604964)

This is a member of the prestigus ACM? what has the world come to.

next we'll have "You SUX" posts from members sigh
"Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"

Bribery?!?! (1)

mudnux (97604) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604966)

Seems our friend is showing ignorance in one of many ways. If this retraction is true he has admitted publicly that he conspired to bribe police officers

"...the police (which we had paid off) showed up and arrested our counterparts ..."

While IANAL (but I watch them played on tv), I would be willing to bet that this is against the law in all municipalities in the US (except perhaps Chicago where there is a longstanding tradition (a joke folks!)).

Good for him (1)

emufreak (83564) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604969)

It's nice to see that someone stood up to fool MTV and show that you really can't believe what the media says anymore.

Wouldn't it have been interesting if MTV had actually done their homework and had a good special on hacking? (Let's not hope that someone from MTV notices this comment and tries to make another show). ;)


sheesh (1)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604971)

That's all I have to say about that :)


"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

To be expected... (1)

Maul (83993) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604978)

This is the sort of thing you come to expect from MTV. Like I said before, they should just go back to showing music videos, what the channel was originally created for.

Script Kiddies? Nah... (1)

crimsun (4771) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604979)

Since I did not actually see the MTV "special" on hackers, I cannot declare that half-hour a total waste. ;-) After moderating some replies here on /. however, it became clear that the show was nothing more than any other MTV "special"-- wasted airtime. (Yep, I'm taking a leap in believing in the majority's opinion.)

Shamrock does have a point about television being hollow, etc. I have to inspect the news with a critical eye (even what I screen on the 'net, too), since there exists no unbiased news source. The lengths that reporters will go to is astonishing. =/

On a side note, I'm happy to see that HNN is powered by OpenBSD. Keep those script kiddies busy!

hmmn... (1)

vapour (102049) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604980)

Now, aint that a suprise ?

No surprises here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604981)

This isn't a big surprise, is it? The mainstream (ala MTV) simply don't get us. This will NEVER change. FP

Why am I not surprised?!? (1)

Galon (32528) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604982)

Once again MTV seems to prove it is only interested in promoting FUD.

Gee...why do I even get my hopes up?!?

MTV Buster! (1)

Enoch Root (57473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604983)

Well, so Shamrock lied and deceived MTV viewers. Unethical? Perhaps. Worth it? Hell yeah.

Way to go. This is culture jamming at its best, and I think that Shamrock went about this in a very fair manner. As his letter points out, he first tried to inform the MTV people, but when they wanted sentationalism, he just gave it to them.

The result is, MTV is being slammed for their research, and people are getting a bit more suspicious of what they see on television. That's wonderful, and I don't see anything criminal in that.

And again, it shows that hackers are not to be trifled with. That was better than any web page cracking anyone could have done.

"There is no surer way to ruin a good discussion than to contaminate it with the facts."

Please (2)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604984)

Did we really need Shamrock to write a letter to know that he's a punk? Come on now, I think he's more of a punk now than I did before. At least then I thought he was an honest punk. Everyone on the MTV hacker-thing was a serious script-kiddy and we all knew it - let's move on to serious news.


"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

Brains (1)

Phexro (9814) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604985)

"I think it would be very hard for anyone with a brain to take MTV seriously now and I hope noone does."

Anyone who takes anything on TV seriously needs counceling or a couple dozen IQ points. It's also interesting to not that he says this after pointing out that MTV caters to the lowest common denominator - which, IMO, is not someone with "brains".

Why pay journalists? Do your own research! (1)

jpritikin (30460) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604986)

Our mass media is just the obvious outcome of supply and demand. Vote with your pocketbook.

No big surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604997)

It comes as no surprise to me that the media skews stories. What is a shock is just how bad this guy's spelling is. Atrocious.

hehehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1604998)

Did he 'hack' MTV?

of course (1)

mistalinux (78981) | more than 14 years ago | (#1604999)

Had we really expected anything else?

The article re-iterates what we've known all along.

If you can actually imagine how much they've screwed up the stuff that we know about, just think of how much stuff MTV (and other media orginisations) screw up that we don't even enough about to confirm they are lying!

ugh, the translation from my brain to english didn't quite work to well.

and this is a surprise...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1605000)

Did anyone think for a minute the hackers were real? Did anyone care then? Does anyone care now?

No, no, and no.

so what? (1)

wuice (71668) | more than 14 years ago | (#1605001)

So it was all made up. So what? Jerry Springer's been doing that for years.

What is worse? (1)

ion (18545) | more than 14 years ago | (#1605002)

After all the bad press here last week flaming MTV for their protrayal of hackers a "punk kids" etc etc... We are now told that the whole thing was staged by hackers who tried to discredit MTV. Are we believing this? Is this letter for real ( or just an attempt to cover their asses)? Did it really discredit MTV? Is anyone who believed the "hacker" story going to find out about the hoax? Sadly I think the answer to all of these is no. I realize this post will likely attract flame, but was I the only one who got kinda a sick feeling reading the article? I'm not sure if what was done (assuming the article's validity) was any better than what was shown on TV. So now, instead of "hackers" breaking the law and cracking boxes, we have "hackers" who are providing false information and deceiving the media. Which is worse... the fake message of MTV... or the fact that "Shamrock" not only discredited MTV, but himself and other "hackers" -Ion
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