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In the case described by Clifford Stoll in the "The Cuckoo's Egg", one of the hackers working with the KGB was found in a forest where he had been covered with gasoline and set on fire. It was ruled a suicide. Now if I were to kill myself, I think setting myself on fire would be way down on the list of methods to consider.
Is it possible that someone leading a hack crew on a job that endangers national security or economic stability may be used as a "don't do this" message to others?"