As we know Apple never offers its wares at huge discounts, so when someone tells you that they bought a new MacBook up for just a dollar, you know something is afoot.
As it turns out, that dollar MacBook is surprisingly possible, so long as you are willing to do a little hacking. The two, ERPScan researchers Dmitry Chastuhin and Vladimir Egorov discovered that the Point of Sale (POS) systems used by some large retailers are actually easy to hack, allowing the price of anything available in-store to be altered. In this case, a MacBook.
The hack is made possible by the apparent lack of any form of security preventing anyone with access to a store’s central server from accessing and altering pricing within its databases. Where the POS, built by SAP and Oracle, simply only requires someone to have access to the store’s network in order to wreak havoc. While many stores simply have wide open Ethernet ports at unusual tills and other areas within them. All the hacker needed to do was set a $25 Raspberry Pi up to access the store’s POS system and make the price adjustment.
Once both Oracle and SAP were made aware of the security flaw, the latter released two patches in an attempt to up their game. And moves are already afoot to prevent this from being exploited. It is also unlikely that anyone out there would be able to actually make a purchase of something like a macBook for just a dollar. But nevetheless, the hackers were to be a little clever about their attack, perhaps reducing the price of many items by smaller amounts during a shopping spree, then the savings would likely go unnoticed by the cashier.
You can check out the demo in action in this video below:
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