10 Funniest Hacker Attacks Which Are Mind-Blowing
Regardless of how long your password is, it’s next to impossible to ensure your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account is safe from all hackers. Of course, hacking doesn’t just extend to the social media accounts of random citizens. Since the dawn of the computer age, hackers have targeted radio stations, television networks, and even government systems.
Generally speaking, hacking is pretty devastating to the victim and should be condemned by all in order to maintain a civilized society. That being said, sometimes – just sometimes – a hacking attack is so ridiculous that those involved are lauded as comedic geniuses, and we’re going to be examining a number of such hacking attacks in this article.
Here are the 10 funniest hacking attacks.
When an innocent person is the victim of a hacking attack, it can be hard to laugh at it, even if it is undeniably hilarious. When big business is the target, however, rejoicing in the insecure password-induced mockery becomes a whole lot easier. Take this attack on tech giant Lenovo, for example.
In 2014, a group of hackers known as the “Lizard Squad” began to make a name for themselves by hacking into the websites of various well-known companies and replacing the original content with material that was immature to the point of hilarity. Among these well-known companies was Lenovo.
Upon hacking into Lenovo’s official website, the Lizard Squad wiped all mentions of computers and the brand’s history and replaced them with a live stream of teenagers completing mundane tasks to the soundtrack of High School Musical.
Bitcoin has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the past year or so, but for a while there it seemed like the cryptocurrency was on track to replace our boring old physical cash.
At the end of the naughtiest, when Bitcoin was still in its infancy, many cryptocurrency enthusiasts took to the forum bitcointalk.org to discuss all things Bitcoin. Combining talk of economics and computers, the forum was, unsurprisingly, pretty boring. One day in 2011, however, things got a little interesting as a hacker gained access to the forum’s nerve center and changed all mentions of Bitcoin to “Cosbycoin” before flooding the site with images of the comedian Bill Cosby.
We’ll be the first to admit that this particular hacking attack is made more than a little uncomfortable in light of recent events, but back in 2011, when Cosby was still America’s dad, it was nothing short of hysterical.
Next up in our look at history’s funniest hacking attacks is the curious case of Max Headroom. The Max Headroom incident has actually been a staple of creepy countdowns on YouTube for years, and while it is admittedly a little unnerving, it is simultaneously pretty freaking hilarious.
For those who have not encountered the Max Headroom tape before, allow us to explain:
Max Headroom started out life as “the world’s first computer-generated TV host”, a label which wasn’t entirely accurate considering the character was portrayed by a man in a costume designed to give him the appearance of being computer generated. Anyway, the Max Headroom character was presented as a form of artificial intelligence from some vague dystopian future.
For a while, Max Headroom was actually embraced by the mainstream, and he made a number of appearances in the popular culture of the 80s, even securing a spot in a TV movie, the success of which spawned The Max Headroom Show. In November of 1987, however, television viewers in Chicago were shocked to see Max Headroom take over their screens during a time that he definitely wasn’t supposed to be on the air.
Headroom’s unexpected appearance came when two Chicago television stations had their broadcast signals hacked into by an unknown hacker dressed as the beloved character. In a distorted voice, the anonymous hacker began to ramble about television shows and media personalities, even dedicating some time to rant about Max Headroom himself.
Normal programming resumed shortly after, but not before the mysterious Max Headroom used a flyswatter to spank an unknown rear end in what would become the trashiest moment to air on American television until the Kardashians came along.
Almost two decades removed from the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, the world is still trying to find an effective method of tackling terrorism. The tactic of carrying on as normal has led only to more terrorist attacks. War has led to so many needless deaths. And peace talks are frequently derailed by pride and intolerance. So, in 2011, the British intelligence service M16 decided to fight terrorism with cupcakes.
Upon hacking into the online magazine of a well-known radical Muslim preacher, the budding comedy writers over at M16 found an article describing how to make a pipe bomb in an average British kitchen and replaced it with a number of recipes for cupcakes.
The cupcake recipes in question were taken from television host Ellen DeGeneres, who presumably has minimal knowledge of creating pipe bombs but sure knows how to bake.
2014 was a pretty tempestuous year. In just 365 days, we saw Typhoon Hagupit hit the Philippines, displacing 50,000 people; a 6.5-magnitude earthquake strike the Chinese province of Yunnan; and then we saw the return of Godzilla, who rose from his decades-long slumber to destroy San Francisco.
Okay, that last one didn’t really happen, but if you were driving through San Francisco on one fateful night in 2014, you may well have thought otherwise. This is because a number of San Francisco-based hackers managed to gain access to the city’s electronic road signs and subsequently rid them of whatever actual warning they bore only to reprogram them to read “GODZILLA ATTACK – TURN BACK!”
Given that road signs often feature important messages and warnings to motorists concerning the roads ahead of them, those responsible for this hacking could have inadvertently caused any number of traffic tragedies. Thankfully, no residents of San Francisco were injured as a result of the prank, be it by a car collision or a gigantic prehistoric sea monster.
Highway to Iran
AC/DC is one of the most successful rock bands of all time, which really shouldn’t come as any surprise. With classics like “Highway to Hell”, “Thunderstruck”, and “You Shook Me All Night Long”, AC/DC is beloved by all and deservedly so. Or, at least, AC/DC is beloved by almost all. There are a number of people out there who aren’t exactly crazy about AC/DC, and some of them have pretty good reasons for their hatred of the band. Take the Iranian government, for example.
In 2012, some hackers managed to gain access to the collective computer system of a number of nuclear research facilities throughout Iran, which, of course, could have very easily led to disaster. The hackers started out in a pretty traditional manner, that being by powering down monitoring stations and shutting down various vital components of the system. But then they did something rather unexpected and a whole lot hilarious.
Throughout their time in control of the computer system, the hackers and apparent rock fans would reactivate random workstations only to play AC/DC’s 1990 hard rock classic “Thunderstruck”. According to those with firsthand knowledge of the event, the song would play the whole way through at maximum volume with the resurrected workstation once again shutting down upon its completion.
Whistler’s Prime Minister
Throughout its history, Spain has been plagued by political unrest, with its most recent issues stemming from the citizens of Catalonia demanding independence for the region. It goes without saying that Spain’s seemingly perpetual political instability is no laughing matter. That being said – or not said – in 2010 some computer savvy pranksters provided us with a brief glimpse of humor in an otherwise tragic saga.
In the summer of that year, the Spanish government was working its collective butt off to paint the nation’s Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez as “the Barack Obama of Europe”. These attempts, however, were unsuccessful and Europe’s true view of the man came to be known when hackers gained access to Spain’s EU website and replaced the Prime Minister’s official portrait with a picture of Mr. Bean.
Mr. Bean, for those who have somehow never heard of him, is a comedic character created by British comic actor Rowan Atkinson. Bean is, to put it mildly, a goof. Childlike at best and idiotic at worst, Bean is incapable of doing anything right and struggles to even string a coherent sentence together.
Critics of the Spanish Prime Minister delighted in the seeming comparison made between Rodríguez and Mr. Bean while even his most ardent supporters had to admit the hack was not without comedic merit. Let’s just be thankful no classic artwork was destroyed in the defacing of this picture.
Twitter gives anybody with access to a smartphone the ability to instantly share whatever is on their mind, requiring no period of reflection to determine whether or not it is a good idea to tweet something out. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in more than a few brands and celebrities ruining the public’s perception of them. On rare occasions, however, the absurd tweets we see coming from verified accounts are not actually the work of the account holder (sadly this does not explain nearly enough ill-fated celebrity tweets).
In 2013, the fast food giant Burger King took to Twitter to send out a message informing its followers that it had been sold to its long-time rival, McDonald’s, which of course, sent whopper lovers everywhere into panic mode. In reality, however, this tweet was not the work of Burger King, but of a prankster who had managed to gain access to the Burger King Twitter account.
Shortly after sending the tweet, the anonymous hacker further contributed to the woe of Burger King’s followers by changing the account’s icon to a picture of McDonald’s’ famous Golden Arches. Burger King noticed the hack about an hour after the prankster sent his or her initial tweet and had its account suspended, but the hacker had already had their fun.
There are few religions in the world as controversial as the Church of Scientology. In fact, the argument can be made that there is no religion in the world as controversial as the Church of Scientology. Nor is there one as heavily criticized.
Over the years, the Church of Scientology has developed something of a reputation for aggressively pursuing those who speak out against it, including celebrity critics such as Leah Remini and Jason Beghe.
In 2008, Scientology’s legal division – the busiest legal division in the world – attempted to force YouTube to remove a video that was critical of Tom Cruise and his relationship with the church, which led to a small group of hackers declaring war on the organization through a classic example of Google bombing. After tampering with Scientology’s Google rankings, the heroic hackers turned the church into the number one search result when a computer user searched “Dangerous Cults”.
Hacker to the Chief
Since being inaugurated as the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump has sent out some pretty outrageous tweets. The kind of tweets that would get any other person fired. Long before he took control of the White House, however, Trump’s Twitter account fell into the hands of hackers, who sent out a series of tweets that are even more bizarre than what we have grown used to seeing from the President.
Among the many tweets sent out by the hacker via Trump’s account was one containing a set of lyrics from Lil Wayne, reading “these hoes think they classy, well that’s the class I’m skippen”.
About three hours after the hacker’s initial tweet, the future President of America managed to gain control of his account once again and immediately sent out a tweet informing his followers that his account had been “seriously hacked”. We don’t know, though… We think it was pretty hilariously hacked.