Two 14-year-old boys “hacked” into their local bank’s cash machine by simply reading the device’s manual.
With a touch more innocence than Anonymous’s World Cup hacking threats, Caleb Turon and Matthew Hewlett from Winnipeg, Canada, twigged that the ATM’s instructions could likely be found online – such is the case with so many electronic devices.
After acquiring the machine’s model number, the boys downloaded the corresponding manual and hacked away – easily navigating past a password screen unchanged from its default setting.
Hack complete, the boys did not steal any money however. Instead, they amusingly changed the welcome message to read, “Go Away. This machine has been hacked.” They then proceeded to report their discovery to staff at the local Bank of Montreal branch.
Having proved the machine’s security weakness to the bank with supervisor printout receipts they had obtained, the pair had missed the final lunch bell, but in return for their warning, the bank manager wrote a letter to their teacher saying that they had been “helping BMO with its security”.
Though a trivial case perhaps, the pair’s escapade highlights the importance of strong passwords in an increasingly dangerous online environment.