Fourth of July in New York City is not for the feint of heart. The heat and humidity is oppressive. But for a hacker with a sense of humor, it’s an opportunity to exercise a devilish prank.
Someone (my guess is it’s not Fancy Bear) has figured out how to break into the city’s LinkNYC system–kiosks that provide free public internet connectivity on-the-go for New Yorkers. As a crowning achievement, the hacker has managed to make the kiosks blare the music associated with ice cream trucks.
The Mr. Softee jingle elicits a Pavlovian response for some. As the music whirls, people stop in their tracks, overwhelmed by a strong need for ice cream. No doubt Gothamists who pride themselves on their tough character are being reduced to puddles of sweat and/or tears upon learning that their passionate desire for ice cream will go unrequited.
In his investigation of the story, Joseph Cox from Motherboard learned that the hack skewed more toward old school. “LinkNYC told Motherboard in an email, people are using a booth’s phone app to call a number—where the person on the other end presumably plays their ice cream van music of choice—and then pressing the home button on the booth to hide the call in progress,” writes Cox.
The mastermind behind the hack seems to be dedicated to his passion project. According to Motherboard, LinkNYC disables calls after 10 minutes if callers don’t confirm they are present and using the booth. As Cox reports, “If the booths have been blasting out the music for hours as reported, perhaps someone is walking up and down New York making sure the devices don’t hang up.”
Get the full story at Motherboard.