DEFCON 19. The Art of Trolling. Matt "Openfly" Joyce

    As I said in my biography, this presentation is dedicated to two great people whom we recently lost - Randy Savage Macho Menu and Ronald Reagan. And until recently, a dead guy named Buba, who played in the Police Academy. So welcome to the art of trolling!



    I thought that you would take the idea of ​​a trolling report as a joke, but you greeted this statement with enthusiasm, so I will tell you everything I know about this. I'm Matt Joyce, known by the nickname "openfly", the one who knows how to troll people, bringing them to an extreme degree of irritation. I am known in many circles as a professional troll, banned from the IRC and Fark chats, and at Unreal 2004 I was introduced as a person "who is banned from almost every server and forum known on the Internet." In addition, I am working on an open source resource for the federal cloud technology program, and I am involved in creating Fonera 2.0n images for the ChaosVPN project.

    So, the troll can use any topic for discussion to “sadden” a person or make him a laughing stock. Therefore, no one wants to be the target of troll attacks. However, for a long time there has been a connection between trolling and hacking, a troll and a hacker, whether in the field of information security or simply in the development of technology. I will explain to you the definition of a troll, tell the story of trolling in human culture (as well as its contribution to this culture) and the methods that are usually used by trolls to achieve their goals.



    I will talk about several past projects that I rate as successful trolling. I intend to use these projects as subject lessons for the practical application of the methods discussed. Trolling occupies an intermediate position between hardware and software projects and can sometimes carry a variety of “payloads”.

    I’ll try to determine who the troll is. And you, of course, agree with my definition. And if you do not agree, you can post comments on my blog on this topic.
    So, if a person writes: "I am ready to protest against people who kill whales," this is not a troll. You can find many definitions of this term in Internet publications, print magazines, even in the Oxford Dictionary, but I agree with this: “Deliberately insincerely posts information that forces friendly, sincere people to react emotionally to it. Often provokes an aggravation of the situation during discussions. ”

    To quote Gandhi: “I forbid modern artists, representatives of degenerative art, to show their creations to the public. If they see the fields blue, they are crazy, and they have a place in the hospital. If they just pretend to see the fields blue, they are criminals and should be in prison. I will protect my people from them! ”

    My definition is: “Trolling is the ability to make someone laugh so that he will throw a portion of a freshly drunk 30 year old selected Scotch whiskey through his nose.” Is this an art? Well, it's like pouring quotes from Sun Tzu at the attrition.org computer security conference, posing as a rabid squirrel.

    God was not a troll! But he had a son, Jesus Christ. So Jesus is a troll. He trolled his prophets and messengers with and without cause. In the same row is Loki, the Scandinavian god of deception, and Prometheus, who deceived Zeus. Everyone knows that Prometheus stole the fire, but they don’t know why he did it. He needed the fire not at all in order to give it to people, but in order to fry himself a piece of pork.



    The next troll was Coyote, the most cunning Native American character who trolls Native Americans until the pale-faced go across the ocean in search of India.

    Next comes the Anansi spider, god of 419 scammers. This small dirty trick is famous for mocking unsuspecting animals.



    An example of trolling is Mr. Stubby. This device, lying in a landfill, was found by hackers from the NYS Resistor group, and turned this "it is not clear what" into a robot. He knows how to saw, plan and, of course, stab with his knife, and is controlled by a mobile phone and voice commands.

    Mr. Stabby is an example of trolling, because people start it with their smartphone, say something to him, tempt it, and bam - Stubby hits you with his knife! That's what trolling can bring! In general, these guys are great - they presented a real business model and showed how it should look. They decided to troll the topic of a robotic arm that was gaining such popularity. NYS Resistor took 3rd place among the 14 presented models at the TechCranch conference, but when the jury got closer to these guys, they awarded them 2nd place. They especially liked the fact that a person could call and tell the robot what to do. This was a unique feature of Mr. Stubby.



    This is what classic trolling looks like.



    So, in the sphere of trolling there are certain logical errors. This happens during a conversation with a person who suddenly became distracted and released an important part of the conversation, and then again continued the conversation. The American educational system is based on the principle that our brain initially had some kind of functional flaws, so it’s easy to make anyone say something stupid or make a person believe some kind of nonsense. A striking example of this attitude is the comics, one of which, “Conner and Mark,” I will give as an example and name the first illustration, “Attitude to authority”.

    A boy named Mark wants to call his classmate Conner, who is very smart and versed in the Eastern markets, and consult about selling shares. But first, he consults with his father, a great authority for him, although he does not have a cylinder or a monocle and absolutely does not understand any securities markets, especially Oriental ones. This comic strip illustrates the power of opinion of authority and the fact that people are more willing to believe any nonsense if they come from an authoritative person.



    In the next picture I’ll give an example of “Addressing Opportunities”. It illustrates that more often than not, you will receive the simplest answer to any question that does not allow other interpretations. People may have different opinions on this issue, but the simplest answer, which does not allow for hesitation, in which everything is unambiguous, leads. In other words, people prefer the answer that seems simpler and does not make them doubt. Simple means the most correct and truthful, because what they do not understand and cannot explain, they consider it a lie.



    The following is a fragment called “Denial of the previous”. This is an important aspect. We can assume that the greatest example of trolling is false calls to 911. First we find out that the terrorists destroyed our CIA agents during the terrorist attacks on the twin towers, then we hear that the terrorists themselves were killed and take note of the latter, because she denies the previous one.



    And another illustration called “Argumentation from Ignorance.” The whole evolution of mankind is based on arguments that arose from a lack of knowledge, that is, from ignorance. But even now, many statements are based on elementary ignorance of the subject. Here in this picture, the guys dig up the bones of a dinosaur. Everyone loves dinosaurs, they are part of our evolution. The guys talk about what is the role of God in evolution, and is evolution compatible with God. And Mark says that there is "a known known, known unknown and unknown unknown, and only the Bible can explain all this."



    The next comic is called Adolf and Hans, and I called the situation depicted Correlation Errors. The principle of correlation is that changes in one thing cause a change in another, that is, they are interconnected. The fact is that this approach often leads people astray, because it is never known whether this correlation is correct.



    With the help of correlation errors, or correlation errors, you can justify anything. Based on the graphs, one can convince people of global warming or, conversely, of global cooling, substantiating these conclusions with a correlation analysis. This approach can lead to catastrophic errors. In the first frame, the boy says to his black girlfriend: “It always surprises me why black guys are the first to die in horror films.” He probably does not bother to address a black woman with a similar question, because he is a real Aryan. Here is an example of a correlation error.

    This is followed by the comic strip “Youth Camps in America” and the picture that I called “Historical Mistakes”. This is a really inexhaustible topic that you can laugh at from the heart. The guys discuss the feat of 300 Spartans, not knowing anything about that era, nor about those people, nor about the circumstances of their lives. This creates great opportunities for all kinds of assumptions, conjectures and theories, that is, for trolling.



    The next excerpt from the comic book, I called "Fake Choice." Fake choice means two possibilities - to turn a person’s opinion in the opposite direction or to occupy his brain for a long time with the problem of choosing the right solution. You can completely talk a person with scientific terminology so that his eyes begin to close and he falls asleep. That is, instead of receiving important information for him, he will completely miss it.

    The next passage I called "Under the influence of booze." For example, you say: “Oh yes, it’s wonderful that you are against killing whales! It is wonderful"! But hell, don't forget that whales are huge killing machines!

    Finish with the comics and consider "Behavior Modification." A lot of scientific research was devoted to this problem in the 50s, they were dealt with by people who wanted to confront the communists, gays, fascists and so on. Sometimes this technology works, people's behavior can be changed.

    And now we will move on to the most important part of my presentation: “People are no different from software.”



    Programs:People:
    - unexpected intervention can cause instability; - unexpected intervention can cause instability;
    - long-term attempts to disrupt the program can lead to an erroneous state; - lengthy attempts to disrupt the program can lead to an angry state;
    - Looping and logical absurdities can block the work; - Looping and logical absurdities can block the work;
    - The use of streaming information in programming can lead to higher priorities. - The use of streaming information in programming can lead to an increase in jokes.

    This statement is a great base for trolling. The following picture shows what the bot “openfly v.1.1” is, the first bot I wrote. I wrote it when I was still in college.



    • simple variable random set of answers;
    • set of random interactions;
    • targeted pursuit;
    • wrote to college to let me go when I was in class.

    This bot trolled people very successfully, generating random answers, and focused on those who answered it more often than others. I did this for 3 or 4 weeks until I got tired, because the reaction of people was always the same - they started arguing with the bot.

    Consider how Martin and Peer describe 7 techniques for modifying human behavior:

    • focus on certain behavioral problems that can be measured in any way;
    • processing methods are ways of changing an individual’s normal state to help that individual function to their full potential;
    • methods and justifications can be carefully described;
    • techniques are often used in everyday life;
    • basically, these techniques are based on the principles of study;
    • special conditions for the behavior modifier and its respondent;
    • place a strong emphasis on the scientific demonstration that a particular technique is responsible for a specific change in behavior;
    • We pay special attention to the accountability of everyone who participates in a behavior modification program.

    I will tell you how I modified these 7 techniques for my needs:

    • emphasis is placed on certain behavioral problems that serve to make fun of a person;
    • processing methods are ways of changing the normal state of an individual in order to expose this person in a foolish form;
    • methods and justifications are chaotic in the best sense;
    • techniques are often used in everyday life (on the 4chan forum board);
    • mainly these techniques are based on the principles of trolling;
    • special conditions for the behavior modifier and its respondent;
    • a strong emphasis is placed on publicly demonstrating that a particular technique is responsible for specific jokes;
    • Particular attention is paid to the complete lack of accountability for everyone involved in trolling.

    Please note that you need to use all sorts of proxies and hide your address during trolling, otherwise it will turn out the way it happened to me when I met the live object of my bullying and he recognized me. It’s better not to do that.

    The second version of my openfly 2.0 bot was called Atomized Power. It was a hidden flood bot for the IRC real-time chat system. It was used to flood through the creation of many unique nicknames and worked on the basis of IRC scripts. If I wanted to hammer any channel of this "talker", I launched a bot there, and it used all traffic. People who tried to enter this channel saw that there was a lively conversation, but in reality it was my bots frolic with each other, depicting an active chat. I used this technology on one of the German IRC channels, and they thought it was a hacker attack.
    Therefore, using the IRC or other forums, make sure that people like me are not present there, otherwise you will be in a bad mood.

    I will try to describe trolling technology to you. This picture shows a very important thing - a 3D volumetric picture of the trolling process. What do you think it is? If I say that this is a 3D scan of my ass, will you be very surprised?



    This picture doesn’t mean anything at all, it’s just that I’m making fun of you, depicting the scientific basis of trolling! Here is another interesting thing - my arsenal. Look at him, this is serious!



    Well, did you believe me? In fact, I was once so bored that I decided to put my mp3 player inside a hand grenade. It looks cool! This appeared on my blog, then on other resources, and one day I found out that the TSA security service, having found this post in my Flickr feed, forbade me to use airplanes.

    Another joke was the change in the barcode on the badges with which we attended the same conference. When scanning our badges, the phrase “fuck you” popped up on the monitor screen, and the guys from the guard pestered us for a long time with the question of how we could do this.

    Now the screen shows the folders of the trollforge program, the “troll forge”. This is a serious software that is used to bypass the various filters available on the forums.



    It was created over 4-5 years and even provides for the possibility of automatic verification of "captcha", which is used to separate bots from real users. This program successfully bypasses such a filter in any forum. You can call it our "joke safety system."

    I want to show you a sample of fun spreading over the network. It is called “Mission Doable” and reads: “Over 9,000 penises!” And they all raped the children. " Imagine what kind of reaction this stuffing can cause on the forum. The users are provided with an occupation for many, many hours, because many people believed that it was true! They believed that there was such an organization that was engaged in this. This is my favorite trolling on the 4chan forum - well, how can you not believe what Oprah Winfrey says!



    Now consider the ethical aspect of trolling. It is important. If you are trolling people who understand that this is trolling, that's okay. If you are trolling your friends, or even the entire Defcon network, there is no special crime in this either. And if you are trying to troll the Walmart chain of stores? This is not so much fun. If you are at the wedding of your cousin, it is worth thinking about things that would be inappropriate in this case. Therefore, the most important rule of trolling is this: you should not make trolling immoral, you should make it funny! Simply put, if you're an eccentric with the letter "m", it's better to be funny!

    So what have we learned? What trolls are:

    • make a significant contribution to the development of the culture and art of the Internet;
    • are at the forefront of technology for changing human behavior;
    • determine the standards for the practical use of the latest generation IT applications;
    • smarter, faster, stronger and better than ordinary people, so they are in demand as genetic partners.



    I believe that every hacker is a troll because he uses the same principles of behavior. Over the years, I became convinced that all the hackers I knew started with trolls. Back in college, we witnessed how one guy was creating a hacker program, and how he did it was pretty funny. The main thing is that in most cases this is ridiculous, otherwise there is a chance to go to jail.

    Now regarding behavior modification technologies. You can have fun, like my friends, on Google+ or Facebook chats, where they created a nonexistent woman named Robin Sidge, and then some people claimed to know her personally. You can create thousands of characters on social networks, and people will begin to communicate with them, and you can use their bots to control their behavior. This can become a problem when people really believe that they are communicating with the same real people. They will actually begin to obey machines, bots, and act as robots themselves. Therefore, trolls really are in the forefront of technologies for manipulating social behavior.

    Trolls have an impact on the development of modern software, for example, the modernization of the procedure for identifying users of forums and other resources that use "captcha" to enter or send a response form. Scripts to distinguish a bot from a person are constantly being improved. New forms of registration and authorization in the forums are used, so we must not lag behind.

    What are we doing at all? We will bring about the fate of people! You can take it as another joke.


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