An undercover television reporter Friday fled from outraged computer hackers that caught her spying on their Las Vegas gathering with a camera hidden in her handbag.

Dateline NBC associate producer Michelle Madigan was heckled and derided as she ran from DefCon, the world's largest computer hackers conference, and raced away in a car.

"They sent a moderately attractive young lady with a purse cam whose mission was to first capture someone on film admitting to a felony, which is really not cool, and second to catch a fed on film," said DefCon spokesman "Priest."

"She was basically trying to do a slam piece."

Federal agents openly, and covertly, mingle with hackers at the conference, which features a panel discussion titled "Meet the Fed."

"This is the Switzerland of hacking, neutral ground on which hackers and feds meet with a common goal of making computers safer," said Priest.

Dateline did not respond to AFP requests for comment but issued a general statement saying it does not discuss reporting tactics.

DefCon organizers were alerted to Madigan's mission prior to her arrival and contacted her, offering her a press badge that would give her free rein of the conference while letting attendees easily see she is a reporter, Priest said.

Madigan declined the offer.

She opted to attend with a "Human" badge granting access to hackers and other general attendees.

Priest and DefCon founder Jeff Moss, whose hacker name is Dark Tangent, lured Madigan to a packed conference room by putting out word they were going to have hackers finger federal agents in a game called "spot the fed."

After she was in the audience, it was announced the game was actually "spot the undercover reporter."

Without naming Madigan, Moss condemned her stealth tactics from a stage. Boos and jeers erupted from hundreds of hackers, one calling for her to be tarred and feathered.

Madigan shoved aside a DefCon "goon," one of the volunteers working at the event, and dashed from the room as the mob called for her to be booted from the premises.

Madigan's flight was followed by hackers and reporting peers openly disapproving her methods.

"If I had 150 people from this place chasing me across the parking lot, I wouldn't be in a hurry to come back," Priest said.