Playful Hacker Toys with Smart Fridge in Showroom

Someone played a joke on a home appliance store and made the screen of a Samsung smart fridge look like it was hacked. The more technically inclined, though, would recognize it as just a case of a web browser showing contents of a site.

The stunt was revealed as just a cute prank promoting the ThugCrowd computer security podcast when a cyber security pundit tweeted an image of the modified screen. The prankster had simply typed in the address to a kiosk mode page that shows an ASCII representation of the ThugCrowd logo, along with information about the internet connection, and several links.

To the untrained eye, it looked like a hacker tracked down the exact location of the device. Displayed details include the IP address, city (Melbourne, Australia), country, latitude and longitude coordinates, and the name of the internet provider. This type of data can be obtained from public IP-lookup services, but it does make an impression, especially when the product comes with a 5,000 AUD price tag (around 3,400 USD).

Following the fun links in the list, the user lands on pages with content hackers typically use to make fun of someone, like Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up video (rickrolling) and the Nyan cat. Addresses for ThugCrowd social media pages are also present.

This is just a harmless joke, mainly because some features of the smart fridge, such as web browsing, have to be enabled for prospective customers to try them out. It’s unclear what a malicious hacker could do with access to a device in a showroom since the smart gadgets on display are typically locked against unauthorized access. Only a small set of actions, sufficient for quick testing, is allowed.

Image credit: @evildaemond

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