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Hackers May 'Net' Good PR for Studio

August 12, 1995|AMY HARMON

Let's face it, they were asking for it.

Last month, MGM/UA set up a site on the World Wide Web to promote its upcoming film "Hackers."

Last weekend, the site got hacked.

In place of the studio publicity department's bubbly description of the film, a group calling itself the Internet Liberation Front inserted its own.

It read in part:

"Hackers, the new action adventure movie from those idiots in Hollywood, takes you inside a world where there's no plot or creative thought, there's only boring rehashed ideas."

But the sharpest dig was at the bottom of the page, where the intruders inserted a hypertext "link" to rival Columbia Pictures' Web site for "The Net" with the suggestion "Go see 'The Net' instead of this dog."

Internet surfers who clicked on the highlighted text were spirited across cyberspace to a picture of "Net" star Sandra Bullock.

Not wanting to alienate the audience at which the movie is aimed, MGM/UA appeared to take pains to be good-natured about the incident. Said a studio spokesperson: "We certainly don't approve of their trashing our Web site, but we are thoroughly impressed with their creativity."

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