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MTV True Life - "I'm a Hacker" Recoverd


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#1 Sidepocket

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 05:29 AM

Many people, including myself, have always been a lost for this exclusive video. Apparently this video did a lot of damage to the Hacking Community as the description of the video indicates.

A number of teen hackers (Mantis, Shamrock, and Uglypig) were featured discussing their exploits. After this episode aired in 1999, one of the filmed hackers (Shamrock) revealed that he intentionally misrepresented his exploits in order to hoax MTV.


It was so horrid that a panel was done about it at H2K called MTV -- How Did It Happen?

Well, someone has finally uploaded the video online. Here is the link to the first part of three:



A friend of mine that I know has a VHS copy of the video that I am working to obtain soon. So finally this lost piece of history will now be known so that we will hopefully not repeat the same mistakes again.

Spread the word...

#2 Treewizard420

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:12 AM

brings some good memories back....

thanks for showing this.

you made my day. :D

Edited by Treewizard420, 13 January 2009 - 08:13 AM.


#3 Sidepocket

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:41 AM

brings some good memories back....

thanks for showing this.

you made my day. :D



Unfortunately I just looked into the ones hosting the website. I will make no comments, you have to see it for yourself.

Either way, I am glad the video is now online. Hopefully even with his...lunacy, he will not pull it. If so, once I get my hard copy I am going to convert it into digital and upload it anyhow. And you all know I never pull files out. :D

#4 livinded

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:22 PM

holy shit, this was some seriously terrible production quality and where the fuck were these random kiddies dug up?

#5 Sidepocket

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 04:04 PM

holy shit, this was some seriously terrible production quality and where the fuck were these random kiddies dug up?



WELCOME TO MTV: WE'VE NEVER CHANGED! ;)

#6 trem

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:31 PM

holy shit, this was some seriously terrible production quality and where the fuck were these random kiddies dug up?

No kidding. Why haven't I heard of any these "legends of the hacker underworld"? And the show they supposedly had, anyone catch the name of it?

#7 Colonel Panic

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:23 AM

I actually watched that show several times on the Web back in the late '90s. It was called Hack : Parse and was carried by one of the early streaming video content providers. It was extremely lame, but I found it funny to see these kids acting all "street" and tough while talking about computers. This show had a hipster element to it which was similar to the movie Hackers, and a similar absence of real technical information. Come to think of it, it was only a matter of time before MTV picked up on this show. Hack : Parse was ideal MTV material. Just the perfect storm of idiotic, vapid trendiness and lack of substance.

They had a little set like a news desk with laptops in front of each host. The hosts would sit behind the desk and banter back and forth, cracking stupid jokes, busting hip-hop poses and acting all ghetto. There were 2 main guys who were regularly on, and a rotating cast of several alternates. There was almost always a girl who just sat there quietly and looked pretty while typing on a laptop.

Every week, they'd discuss some very lowbrow "hacking-related" news, show screenshots of hacked websites, talk about various script kiddies who'd been arrested for CFAA violations, etc. They'd typically have a guest on the show who was just about as clueless as they were. The guests usually bragged about their own exploits (mostly lies, I'm sure) as well as all the great "hacking projects" they were involved in, without of course going into any specifics. All throughout the show, they'd be idling in an IRC channel, and would occasionally interject something funny that had been said on IRC, or else ask a question for their guest which had been posed by an IRCer. Sometimes they would take call-ins during the guest portion of the show and give away prizes like CDs of free software. One time they gave away a FreeBSD install CD to a caller.

On one particular show I remember, their guest was a kid of maybe 18-20 years old who claimed to be "using his hacking skills" to track down child pornographers on the Internet and then report them to the authorities. This kid (himself barely over the age of consent) said that he and his fellow porn-hounds could use some help from any skilled hackers willing to participate, and then started complaining about how he's been doing this for several months straight and needs to take a break because looking at all that kiddie porn was starting to really bother him. I shit you not, this guy actually said that. I remember another show where they had a bunch of Furbies sitting all over the set making so much noise you could barely even hear the conversation.

This show was pathetic because it was so obviously trying to turn hacking into a "hip" social scene. I found it hilarious the way they tried to blend computer science with that gangsta rap image. I wonder if anybody anywhere still has any episodes of that show. The video and sound quality were awful, but it still might be fun to laugh at.

Edited by Colonel Panic, 14 January 2009 - 11:58 AM.


#8 decoder

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:41 AM

I actually watched that show several times on the Web back in the late '90s. It was called Hack : Parse and was carried by one of the early streaming video content providers. It was extremely lame, but I found it funny to see these kids acting all "street" and tough while talking about computers. This show had a hipster element to it which was similar to the movie Hackers, and a similar lack of real technical information. Come to think of it, it was only a matter of time before MTV picked up on this show. Hack : Parse was ideal MTV material. Just the perfect storm of idiotic, vapid trendiness and a complete absence of substance.

They had a little set like a news desk with laptops in front of each host. The hosts would sit behind the desks and banter back and forth, cracking stupid jokes, busting hip-hop poses and acting all ghetto. There were 2 main guys who were regularly on, and a rotating cast of several alternates. There was almost always a girl who just sat there quietly and looked pretty while typing on a laptop.

Every week, they'd discuss some very lowbrow "hacking-related" news, show screenshots of hacked websites, talk about various script kiddies who'd been arrested for CFAA violations, etc. They'd typically have a guest on the show who was just about as clueless as they were. The guests usually bragged about some great "hacking project" they were involved in, without of course going into any specifics. All throughout the show, they'd be idling in an IRC channel, and would occasionally interject something funny that had been said on IRC, or else ask a question for their guest which had been posed by an IRCer. Sometimes they would take call-ins during the guest portion of the show and give away prizes like CDs of free software. One time they gave away a FreeBSD install CD to a caller.

On one particular show I remember, their guest was a kid of maybe 18-20 years old who claimed to be "using his hacking skills" to track down child pornographers on the Internet and then report them to the authorities. This kid (himself barely over the age of consent) said that he and his fellow porn-hounds could use some help from any skilled hackers willing to participate, and then started complaining about how he's been doing this for several months straight and needs to take a break because looking at all that kiddie porn was starting to really bother him. I shit you not, this guy actually said that. I remember another show where they had a bunch of Furbies sitting all over the set making so much noise you could hardly even hear the conversation.

This show was pathetic because it was so obviously trying to turn hacking into a "hip" social scene. I found it hilarious the way they tried to blend computer science with that gangsta rap image. I wonder if anybody anywhere still has any episodes of that show. The video and sound quality were awful, but it still might be fun to laugh at.


Did the creators mean it to be a serious show, or was the show a mind hack?

#9 Colonel Panic

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:00 AM

The show was obviously meant to be serious, and it was really stupid. It was trying to cash in on the popularity of hackers in the media at the time. You watched the MTV video linked at the top of this thread, right? Most of those guys were the douchebags from this show.

This online streaming TV network obviously had aspirations to becoming a major force in the broadcast entertainment industry. They had a variety of shows, some of them tech-related, some music, comedy or entertainment-related.

There used to be another hacking/tech show on the Web back in those days called /etc that was actually pretty decent. It explained how various digital technologies and computers work, and showed how to do various mods to your computer. If I remember correctly, this show was streamed using RealVideo. Maybe one of the other geriatrics around here would know.

Edited by Colonel Panic, 14 January 2009 - 03:46 PM.


#10 Murd0c

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:55 PM

Apparently Serena Actchull had been stalking the NYC2600 meets back in '98-9 under the guise of doing an MTV special on hackers focusing on the Mitnick thing that was going at the time. Some of the 2600 staffers we're involved in the early stages of planning, in order to get some footage of Bill Clinton talking at a press conference about all the damage hackers do, and since they couldn't get it, they figured they could use the MTV sway to get it, then they could use it for Freedom Downtime.

Obviously things didn't pan out as a special on Mitnick, instead focusing on young people who have no real connection to the underground at all.

#11 trem

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 07:45 PM

Anyone know where to find any episodes of Hack : Parse?

#12 Sidepocket

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 08:34 PM

I actually watched that show several times on the Web back in the late '90s. It was called Hack : Parse and was carried by one of the early streaming video content providers. It was extremely lame, but I found it funny to see these kids acting all "street" and tough while talking about computers. This show had a hipster element to it which was similar to the movie Hackers, and a similar absence of real technical information. Come to think of it, it was only a matter of time before MTV picked up on this show. Hack : Parse was ideal MTV material. Just the perfect storm of idiotic, vapid trendiness and lack of substance.

They had a little set like a news desk with laptops in front of each host. The hosts would sit behind the desk and banter back and forth, cracking stupid jokes, busting hip-hop poses and acting all ghetto. There were 2 main guys who were regularly on, and a rotating cast of several alternates. There was almost always a girl who just sat there quietly and looked pretty while typing on a laptop.

Every week, they'd discuss some very lowbrow "hacking-related" news, show screenshots of hacked websites, talk about various script kiddies who'd been arrested for CFAA violations, etc. They'd typically have a guest on the show who was just about as clueless as they were. The guests usually bragged about their own exploits (mostly lies, I'm sure) as well as all the great "hacking projects" they were involved in, without of course going into any specifics. All throughout the show, they'd be idling in an IRC channel, and would occasionally interject something funny that had been said on IRC, or else ask a question for their guest which had been posed by an IRCer. Sometimes they would take call-ins during the guest portion of the show and give away prizes like CDs of free software. One time they gave away a FreeBSD install CD to a caller.

On one particular show I remember, their guest was a kid of maybe 18-20 years old who claimed to be "using his hacking skills" to track down child pornographers on the Internet and then report them to the authorities. This kid (himself barely over the age of consent) said that he and his fellow porn-hounds could use some help from any skilled hackers willing to participate, and then started complaining about how he's been doing this for several months straight and needs to take a break because looking at all that kiddie porn was starting to really bother him. I shit you not, this guy actually said that. I remember another show where they had a bunch of Furbies sitting all over the set making so much noise you could barely even hear the conversation.

This show was pathetic because it was so obviously trying to turn hacking into a "hip" social scene. I found it hilarious the way they tried to blend computer science with that gangsta rap image. I wonder if anybody anywhere still has any episodes of that show. The video and sound quality were awful, but it still might be fun to laugh at.


Holy shit, you found the missing link to Attack of the Show and Hak.5! Great find! :)

I shall now do my own search to find this how. B)

#13 Colonel Panic

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 09:25 PM

Come to think of it, it was a little like AotS without even the meager content presented by that lame program.

AHA! Found it!

http://www.pseudo.co...rch.php?q=parse

But it doesn't appear to work... Maybe the videos have been removed. I tried creating an account on Pseudo, but they never sent me the confirmation email.

Edited by Colonel Panic, 15 January 2009 - 03:12 AM.


#14 Famicoman

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 12:54 PM

Nice find.
If you can get your hands on a tape, I'd kill for a high(er) quality encode.

#15 Colonel Panic

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 04:10 PM

Were any of you guys able to watch those movies? They didn't work for me.

Edited by Colonel Panic, 17 January 2009 - 04:10 PM.


#16 ozlo

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 10:58 PM

On one particular show I remember, their guest was a kid of maybe 18-20 years old who claimed to be "using his hacking skills" to track down child pornographers on the Internet and then report them to the authorities. This kid (himself barely over the age of consent) said that he and his fellow porn-hounds could use some help from any skilled hackers willing to participate, and then started complaining about how he's been doing this for several months straight and needs to take a break because looking at all that kiddie porn was starting to really bother him.


I may know who that individual was. I knew a guy who had been recruited supposedly by a fed to do just that. He would scan well known ISP address ranges for open file shares, looking for kiddie porn. At the time, I believe most Win95 boxes were setup by default to fully share all drives.

Edited by ozlo, 17 January 2009 - 11:00 PM.


#17 Colonel Panic

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 01:50 AM

How old was this person? Was he the age of a high school student?

#18 ozlo

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:32 AM

How old was this person? Was he the age of a high school student?


He was about 17 when he told me about it, probably early 1998.

#19 Colonel Panic

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 04:03 PM

I may know who that individual was. I knew a guy who had been recruited supposedly by a fed to do just that. He would scan well known ISP address ranges for open file shares, looking for kiddie porn. At the time, I believe most Win95 boxes were setup by default to fully share all drives.

I used to do the same thing myself, scanning IP blocks for open Windows shares, and downloading files off them (except that I wasn't looking for kiddie porn). Lots of people did that. Share sniffing was very popular around '97-'00.

This was back in the days before Windows had a built-in firewall. I found a hell of a lot of computers, some of them obviously belonging to businesses, with their entire C:/ drive openly shared on the Internet. What I'd usually do is raid their hard drive for whatever music, movies, applications, etc., then place a text document on the desktop warning the owner of the security flaw and offering instructions for how to fix it.

I'd be very skeptical about anything told to me by a high-school kid who claims he's working undercover for the FBI. Kids of that age generally have a tendency to lie, especially the socially-maladjusted ones. Also, think about the plausibility of the FBI hiring a teenager to look at illegal porn all day. Considering the source you heard it from. Is this story more likely to be true, or just a lie fabricated by a kid to make himself sound important? Why would the Federal government need to hire a crack team of underage kids to go trolling for child porn, when there were plenty of trained adults around who were just as capable of doing the same job?

Back in those days, "hackers" were all over the news. It was the "big scare" that everyone was talking about (the way terrorism is today). The news media was constantly reminding us about all the evil, nerdy teenagers who could magically steal your bank account, crash Wall Street or shut down the nation's infrastructure. Of course, lots of kids went around making up tall stories about their own amazing "hacksploits" because they desired respect and a "1337" reputation. That Parse program was a weekly showcase for scriddies and liars. You heard that kid in the MTV show, saying, "I've discovered some huge project going on between Russia and the United States, something about some missiles and testing sites... Some confidential, some classified, unclassified... where it came from, well that's for me to know..." This is the kind of bullshit material that comprised that show. 100% hype, zero useful content.

Edited by Colonel Panic, 11 February 2009 - 11:48 AM.


#20 I-baLL

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 09:10 AM

Okay, here's the story behind the video:

The guys in the video basically were re-enacting the movie "Hackers" as a prank on MTV. They copied various scenes from the movie including meeting a guy in a limo in a dark alley to give him a disk in exchange for something.

So what happened?

Editing. The show was edited to death into a horrid writhing mess of badness that you are now witnessing.




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