Beware of Internet trolls in sheep's clothing

You say got hacked? Think again -- apparently, it's just a group of Internet trolls indulging in 'performance art'

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Rustle League is kinda sorta an offshoot from Anonymous, not that anyone could verify it -- it's not like the Anons distribute membership cards. Heck, you or I could also be offshoots of Anonymous. Rustle League also claims to troll Anonymous, the Occupy Wall Street movement, WikiLeaks, and the media.

"Often we [trolls] rely on the ignorance of the media itself to propagate our messages. When the lights went out at the Super Bowl, the Rustle League tweeted, taking responsibility and linking an obviously fake picture of the "control panel" used to 'LYKE OMG HAX0R THE NFL GIBSON.' It wasn't long before that information was up on various news websites and blogs," he added, before calling this type of un-fact-checked journalism "lazy" and a form of "selling ignorance."

I emailed Jaime, who continued to try to convince me that the exploit was genuine, even after I outed him/her as a troll and "researcher" Horace Grant as a former Chicago Bulls power forward.

With friends like these ...

Cochran sent the release to any journos who have written about Andrew "weev" Auerheimer, the iPad hacker who was sentenced to 41 months in prison for "hacking" AT&T's website to uncover the email addresses of iPad owners. Cochran and weev are apparently friends.

I'm not sure why I got special treatment. By and large, I've been sympathetic to hackers, within bounds. I can't condone all their actions, but I think they've been largely demonized by the authorities, who find it easier to pass harsh sentences for relatively benign computer crimes than, say, rein in their own spooks.

Still, I feel honored ... I think.

Ever been trolled? Share your experiences below or email me:

This article, "Beware of Internet trolls in sheep's clothing," was originally published at Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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