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Teenagers hack ATM by bothering to read the instructions

Students beat machine on their lunch break just by pressing the buttons
  • @christophhooton

Breaking Bad taught us that shaking down an ATM typically involves kidnapping it with a pickup truck and whacking it with a sledgehammer, but it turns out they can be much more easily overcome by simply reading the manual.

Two 14-year-old boys from Winnipeg, Canada guessed that instructions for their local cash machine would be available online.

A quick Google search of the model number on the Bank of Montreal ATM in a nearby grocery store did indeed turn up a manual, and after downloading it and discovering that the machine's default passcode had not been changed, the pair were able to easily access its supervisor mode just by pressing the buttons.

Heroic citizens Matthew Hewlett and Caleb Turon decided not to steal any money however, The Inquirer reports, instead changing the ATM's welcome message to "Go away. This machine has been hacked." and reporting the security flaw to the staff at the bank's nearest branch.

By the time they had convinced the bank to follow up on the hack using receipts, the boys realised they were late back to school after lunch break.

The bank manager later wrote a note to their teacher, thanking them for "helping BMO with its security".