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April Fools’ Day – 5 Harmless Pranks by Hackers

Hackers can be fun people too. We’ve covered everything from blasting AC/DC to invoking a fake blue screen of death on co-workers.

April Fools’ Day is a much-anticipated time for hackers who simply want to mess with someone’s head without any malicious intent. While some hackers aim to scam unsuspecting people, some use their hacking abilities to help prevent these attacks. However, they occasionally they use their skills to prank someone for a quick laugh.

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Here are the 5 best harmless pranks conducted by hackers over the years.

A Prank from the Government
Dubbed “Operation Cupcake,” members of the British intelligence service MI6 once did the world some good with a prank that targeted terrorists who had nefarious intentions. They hacked a radical Muslim preacher’s online magazine that included recipes on how to manufacture pipe bombs and replaced them with cupcake recipes from the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Do You Love AC/DC?
Fans of the Australian rock giants AC/DC were probably thrilled about this next one, although it probably got old after a while. A worm made its way to the control systems of nuclear research facilities in Iran and it did unexpected things like activate workstations at night and blast the famous band’s 1990 classic “Thunderstruck” at maximum decibels.

The Blue Screen of Death… as a Screensaver
Everyone dreads the idea of coming face-to-face with the blue screen of death, which basically means your computer is in dire need of technical support. In some cases, it may even be fried for good. But just for fun, pranksters found a way to make light of the blue screen of death by installing screensavers on their co-workers computers that displayed the blue screen of death when they were away, only to return and freak a bit before the prank was unveiled.

Co-opting a Computer
Another popular prank is a technique that can take over someone’s computer briefly. By installing a VNC — a computer remote control protocol — on a computer and attaining its IP address, the prankster can control the “victim’s” mouse functionalities and move it around in front of their face to cause panic. Until with great relief, the joke is revealed, and it’s no hard feelings, right?

How the Lizard Squad Overtook Lenovo
A group of hackers called the Lizard Squad performed plenty of hacks for the purpose of getting chuckles in 2014. One of their biggest scores was when they took down Lenovo’s website and replaced it with a webcam feed of lackadaisical teenagers lounging around with the soundtrack of “High School Musical” playing in the background.

While we certainly don’t condone these activities, since it’s April Fools’ Day, for one day a year we can admit that ethical hackers are allowed to have fun like the rest of us.