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Hackers take control of Asics sports store screens to display porn content

Sometimes hackers do not pursue monetary or operation disruption purposes but seem only interested in demonstrating their capabilities, claim web application security specialists. This appears to be the case of sporting goods company Asics, which had to issue an apology after screens at one of its major stores in Australia showed pornographic content for hours.

The screens, placed just above the entrance to the store in Auckland, showed the adult content by the hour until employees began arriving at the store, around 10 a.m. Through their social media, the company claimed it was a hacking incident:

“This morning, an unidentified actor accessed the systems that control the screens in our store in Auckland with the intention of displaying inappropriate content. We would like to offer apologies to anyone who has seen this content. Now we’re working with a web application security firm to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Various local media claim that pornographic content was reproduced on the Screens of the Asics store for almost nine hours, as it was not possible to deactivate the store screens until employees started their workday and contacted the web application security firm.

As for the reaction of passers-by who encountered this unpleasant surprise, the New Zealand Herald revisited some testimonies which, in fact, speak of how surprising this incident was, though most of those passing by the store of Asics simply stopped to take a look and then go their way without paying much attention.

However, the most concerned about this incident were parents transiting the area with children. “I couldn’t believe what was happening; this is completely offensive and inappropriate and my children shouldn’t be exposed to that kind of content,” says one woman who witnessed the incident in the company of two young children.

As the International Institute for Cyber Security (IICS) web application security specialists mentioned, this appears to be an example of a hacker or hacker group encountering a security flaw and exploiting it for no apparent reason. So far it is not known that the company has received hacking threats or there is an intrusion into its networks, so the perpetrators of the incident must have acted only for fun.

Such unmotivated hacking attacks often occur among members of the gamer community, there are even platforms for contracting and launching denial of service (DDoS) attacks against the servers of some gaming platform online video game, which leaves other users unable to access online platforms. Although the FBI has been dedicated to shutting down multiple of these domains in recent years, this practice remains very popular among the gamer community.