The Movie Studio Behind Which Movie “Hacked” Their Own Website To Promote The Movie?
Hackers, a 1995 cyberpunk thriller focused on a group of high school computer hackers, was met with significantly mixed reviews. The film was scorned as ridiculous by those knowledgeable enough about computers and security to see the film was absurd even by Hollywood standards, the acting and plot were generally considered lackluster by critics and audiences alike and, as a result, MGM was willing to pull out all the stops to give the movie a bit more credibility.
One of those stops was to unleash the webmasters entrusted with running and maintaining the movie’s promotional website on the website itself. The Hackers website was crudely defaced with MS Paint style editing of the header image, the text of the page was altered to decry the movie, and visitors were encouraged to visit the websites of actual hacker/security organizations, to learn to program, and to go see The Net instead. The premise of the stunt hinged on the idea that the movie was popular (and inflammatory) enough to draw the attention of real hackers and therefore worth going to see.
Image courtesy of MGM.