NEW YORK'S long-suffering internet information kiosks have been hacked again, this time because ice cream.
You may recall, back in 2016, the LinkNYC system was taken offline after locals started to use them for their own… special times… with porn being freely available using the in-kiosk browser.
This time you can keep your clothes on - but as we suffer a heatwave, just as NY is also in the grip of one, spare a thought for our cousins across the pond. This time the kiosks have been programmed to play ice cream van chimes, leaving parched punters searching in vain for a Whippy treat.
someone hacked the internet kiosk in front of my apartment and it's been playing the ice cream truck song for hours— chelsea adelaine hassler (@chelseaadelaine) July 2, 2018
Motherboard has had a confirmation from LinkNYC that, yes, it's really a thing, but it's denying its an actual hack and besides, free stuff gets abused all the time.
What's actually happening is that people are using the booth to make a call to a number that plays ice cream van music. Then, by hitting the home button, it disguises the call.
But as pointed out, calls to these booths are supposed to auto-hang after 10 minutes. Some residents are talking of chimes lasting "hours", so isn't adding up there - either the witnesses are lying or the booths are malfunctioning. Either way, it may not be a conventional hack but it's a pretty impressive troll.
LinkNYC and other schemes like it have faced criticism for the booths which contain a very open infrastructure of wifi and Bluetooth, which, as much as it represents a public service, is also ready for abuse and hacking.
But if the worst they can dish out is a bit of porn and some ice cream noises, the future of the Western world is probably safe for now. μ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked