You probably heard about the printer hack already, where a couple hackers hacked printers to print posts saying: “Subscribe to PewDiePie.” It was a combination of a good meme for a funny cause, but also doing something positive, in the sense of spreading awareness that people’s printers are unprotected and that’s probably something you should fix. I heard even police stations printed them. It’s pretty concerning.
However, the BBC kind of showed the “dark side” of this whole hack:
BBC: Four hacks. One YouTube star. The Swedish comedian’s army of followers got to work. A bizarre campaign was launched including billboards, leafleting and posters. One fan, calling himself HackerGiraffe, decided to take it to an extreme, even criminal level. He hacked an estimated 50,000 printers forcing them to produce a poster in support of PewDiePie.
Those poor printers without consent printed this black and white image, I can’t believe this this criminal level… These kids should actually get hired for doing something groundbreaking.
HackerGiraffe: I was involved in the “PewDiePie” Internet of Things Hacks”. I’m going to tell you how we did it, but I’m going to tell you it anonymously.
They talk about it like they broke into a bank and stole a bunch of money.
HackerGiraffe: I was completely blinded by the whole fun aspect of it. It did feel exciting and I felt kind of like a hero (…) I’m going to change the world and actually make a difference. I felt like I was doing good.
Are they being sarcastic? Because they make it look like it’s a murder.
HackerGiraffe: This number was about 70,000 and now it’s dropped down to 39,000. So I believe through our attacks, we made a positive difference and these people are securing their printers.
BBC: There’s no doubt that fun and fame was a big part of the motivation. However, these teen hackers have made an impact in an area where security is an increasing concern. We don’t know whether or not the authorities are trying to find them…
… in case they would ever get arrested for the printer hack? I don’t know, man. It doesn’t really seem that accurate, but that’s just my opinion, which I’m not supposed to give.