Prominent US hackers have attacked a statement issued by fellow protagonist Shamrock in which he claimed to have deliberately faked evidence for an MTV documentary about computer crime.
Editor of popular hacking magazine 2600, Emmanual Goldstein, has issued a statement that primarily denounces MTV's treatment of the whole issue, saying: "I'm hearing now that Shamrock is claiming he made the whole thing up just to f*** with them. If that's true, MTV certainly got what they deserved by ignoring the advice and warnings of knowledgeable people in order to pursue an utterly fictitious story."
This statement however then goes on to criticise Shamrock's own irresponsibility in dragging out the whole sordid affair. It continues: "While Shamrock may have thought it was amusing, it was stupid and caused great harm to the community by making people believe this kind of crap. I can only assume that he thought they would actually check the facts before running with the story. Now we all know better."
Another member of the US hacking scene who asked to remain anonymous commented: "Certain people in the hacking community want to have their name up in lights. They want to be the next Captain Crunch or the next Phiber, Optik or Mitnick. I believe Shamrock to be one of those people. I think he wanted to make himself out to be more then he really was."
One person with enormous experience of the US hacking scene is Richard Thieme, writer, consultant and all-round computer security guru. He believes that the current situation is symptomatic of the way many hackers deal with the press. "They do that sort of thing. When Back Orifice 2000 came out, Cult of the Dead Cow had a whole public relations operation going," he said. "You have to have good sources and a number of sources and these guys will have a tremendous amount of fun making things up."
Thieme also said however that there is a serious side to the situation that some of these less-than-conventional computer experts sometimes find themselves in. He said: "There is a lot of mistrust and it's difficult to know who your friends are. I know of people who have been blackmailed by the FBI into doing things. These people know that this goes on."