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I've pulled a few browser script pranks, where I get access to someone's computer when they're not around and load a script that turns their whole browsing experience monochromatic, or replace all the <img src with cat pics, etc.

It's a little mean πŸ™ƒ

 
 

If you have access to the router, you don't even need access to a specific computer. Just set up a redirect to a transparent proxy and "massage" the traffic there ("why is my browser rendering everything upside down?!?").

 
 

Been pranked on:

My friend left his computer cuz it was too slow (typical developer stereotype: you're a programmer, fix my computer plz)!

He went to the living room to smoke, so I started looking at the apps he's got suddenly I saw folders opening without me touching anything!

I thought it was infected in the beginning, so I started looking at the Task Manager... and suddenly the mouse moved to close it!

I left the mouse a bit thinking how to tackle this cuz it seems hacked πŸ€”

This time a creepy song opened in a YouTube tab, and at the same time my room light got switched off, that's when I said: BRO YOUR LAPTOP ISN'T HACKED, IT'S HAUNTED.

While going to tell him that, the bastard was remote controlling the laptop using his phone, and he's one that switched off the electricity from the fuse box πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

 

DamnπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ that harsh πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

 

Best prank pulled on me:
The sales team at my first startup swapped the magic mice of all the devs. There were four of us and we all got in around the same time. It took us a good 10 min to figure out what was going on.

Best prank I have pulled:
I had a coworker at Kenna that went to MIT and MIT is kinda rivals with Havard. Given this fact, for almost a year I put Havard business school stickers in random places all over his desk and things he brought to the office. Every couple of months he would find one, freak out, and blame another group of guys he thought were doing it. He never found out it was me until I left. Long haul pranks are the BEST!!!

 

Back in my college days, one of my friends was in Student Government, and he enjoyed pranking and scaring the living daylights of everyone, especially the ladies.

So I instructed the secretary to wait until he was in a meeting, go to his office computer (she had access), and select the setting "swap primary and secondary mouse buttons".

I checked in later, and she reported he had gone into his office, and after a moment shouted "What in the heck?" before storming out and heading for class. So I had her move to phase two: a block-script printed note that said "Check the settings, stupid."

He never found out who was behind it, and never dared prank anyone again.


One doozy I'm keeping in my hat until I need it is to rearrange the keys on a keyboard to say "GOTCHA" along the top, instead of "QWERTY".

 

So I instructed the secretary to wait until he was in a meeting, go to his office computer (she had access), and select the setting "swap primary and secondary mouse buttons".

Back in the days of early optical mice, you could have a lot of fun simply by rotating the mousepad 90Β°. Had a fellow student contact the lab-administrator to ask that they replace the "faulty" mouse on his workstation.

 

I created a small server, waited for my colleague to take a quick toilet break with his laptop unlocked. I only had a few minutes available so I quickly opened a terminal, installed the openssh server, curled to my laptop to download a small script that behaved almost like sudo, so that when invoked it would send the passphrase inserted to my server and returned a notice of incorrect password, tricking the user into thinking of a mispell, then I edited his .bash_profile adding an alias to sudo so that it would invoke my script once and then delete both the alias itself and the malicious sudo script.

When my colleague returned to his laptop, after a bit, I asked a newbie question "Could you tell me if sudo whoami works for you? I get a funny behavior on my machine..".
He took the bait, sent me his user passphrase, notice the apparent mispell, re-entered the passphrase and obtained the expected result.
I thanked him and planned a bit.. πŸ€“πŸ˜ˆ
I started ssh-ing on his machine, ejecting the cd tray every once in a while.
Then I shared the fun with the other colleagues so that they kept ejecting the cd tray randomly, even when I was not there.
After a few days he gave up and kept the tray open. πŸ˜†
I eventually told him the prank.

 

A few simple ones:

1.) This may require some research depending on OS. When someone steps away, make sure the shortcut is enabled for it. But enabling high contrast mode.

2.) Take a screenshot of their desktop, remove everything on their desktop. Set their wallpaper to the screenshot you took. They will be so confused as to why they can not click anything on their desktop.

 

"2)" This one was popular in my previous (security team) office every time someone left their screen unlocked..

Another insidious prank was to put clear tape over someone's optical mouse sensor.. just enough to make it unreliable...

 

Not mine, but one of my coworkers pranked another person on our team by randomly playing an audio clip of Nicolas Cage saying, "I'm going to steal the Declaration of Independence" from the movie National Treasure. At once an hour at low volume, it took our coworker a long time to notice it, but the first time he noticed, it was gold. He snapped out of his zone, took off his headphones, looked around for a minute with a confused expression, asked us if someone was talking to him, and then put his headphones back on and got back to work. A couple days later, I tried to ask him a question and he told me to go away because he thought he heard Nicolas Cage on his computer.

He eventually found it :D

 

I wrote a small script to open up a "My Little Pony" youtube video once an hour, gave it an official-looking name "system-mlp" and started running it on the background of a friend/co-worker's computer. He hated "My Little Pony".

Installed a mouse app on our phone so when our coworker sat down to work we would move the mouse slightly to trip him out.

One of my favorites was when I added a browser plugin to my friend/co-worker's laptop that replaced all images in the browser with a random Nicolas Cage image. We didn't know it at the time, but his browser was synced to his home browser where his wife was working on something for her mom's business. My friend stepped away from a meeting after his wife called in a panic, "Excuse me, my wife thinks there's a virus on our computer". He came back a few minutes later laughing while calling us colorful names :D

This was all the same coworker.

If you think we were totally unfair to him, he dished out plenty.

He one time opened up a port with netcat and piped the output to the wall command. While I was working in vim or doing other terminal things, I had my whole team typing random characters or sending me creepy messages like "I'm watching you" or "print('lol')".

 

At my last place of employment, we used ncage often. Eventually we evolved to also use Cenafy (which seems to have since been pulled from the Chrome Web Store 😒)

 

Worst for me is an update on the classic "unplug the mouse" gag. If you grab some paper (like a post-it) and cover the two inside data pins and plug it back in, it'll look like the device is on (red sensor light for mouse), but it won't actually send mouse movement.

Always a fan of screenshots of open windows being set as a desktop background, too.

 

I've controlled the neighbors sound system playing black metal and made the printer print diabolical messages.

I faked an email at my company as the CEO and told employees that at the next day we were all having a surprise costume party all day long.

 
 

I do not regard myself as evil, I just regard myself as my very own personal comedian :D

 

We had monthly service techs come in to check our mainframes. We decided to tell him on next check that every time we pressed a button on IPL panel, the tape drive door would open.

He didn't believe us, but was dumbfounded when we demonstrated it. He pressed the button 3 or 4 times, and couldn't believe it. He then placed a seach in the database and couldn't find anything.

The guy in the back desk gave it away when his laughter permeated the room. He was manually doing the work each time he saw the panel indicating the button was pressed.

 

We had an asshole project manager that always said yes to every feature the customer requested without consulting with the dev team. I kindly replaced all "no" for "yes" in the messaging platform with a mitm attack

 

Back in school, I made a batch file that would open Chrome on loop and there was no way of stopping the script as it would open Chrome quicker than you could close the CMD window as it always focused on the new Chrome instance.

Then I put it on the desktop of some my class mates, changed the file icon to the Chrome logo and named it Google Chrome. Even pinned it to the taskbar. Then sat back and watched the carnage ensue as even the teacher didn't know how to stop it.

It normally ended with the computer freezing when it ran out of RAM and getting powered off and on for it to only happen again when they tried to start Chrome again. Oh the good times...

 
 

One of my colleagues was really into the movie 23. He kept talking me about the meaning of that number and how it was affecting his life as well.
We was also a big fan of Inter, and italian soccer team, and used to have a wallpaper of one of their most famous attackers (Milito).
So I waited for him to have a break, while keeping his computer unlocked, edited the wallpaper by adding a small "23" on the leg of the player.
I carefully chose the size of the text so that it wasn't too evident.
After a few days he told me that one evening he noticed it and jumped on the chair. πŸ€“πŸ˜†

 

Once, somebody put a "free bike" ad up on Craigslist Manhattan for a super cool road bike. They listed my wife's number in the ad and her voicemail & text message inbox filled up in no time.

To be honest, she never found out if it was meant to be a prank or if it was just a mishap. Ultimately, she had to contact Craigslist to take it down.

This was almost 10 years ago, so maybe they have more safeguards in place now... then again, maybe not! 😈

 

Back in the day when sms was all the rage, companies would have an sms web platform without captcha. I made a script to generate random numbers with the number prefix of the city I lived in back then, then I would also generate random messages with random names. Messages would basically state that I was their buddy and that they should add me to msn. I overflowed the msn capacity back in the day which was around 2000 contacts if I remember correctly. Then Id take random people and made them participate in random conversations. This was really funny.

 

It was back in 1999, our webdev team alone had internet access and proxy password was confidentially kept within their team.

We(desktop application development team) built a small application, sent it over on email through testing team, when they opened it, it prompted for the proxy authentication, looking exactly like the proxy window, after accepting password, it would write it the shared network...we waited for 5 hrs first day after mails went to the entire group, finally someone entered it and we got it!
This was very successful after every password change, We didn't tell them how we kept getting credentials, kept blaming that we have contacts...:)

 

I worked for a now-dead company that liked to prefix their product names with life|. It was part of the branding and it became a bit of a gag internally with the dev team - to the point of us calling the clock module life|time.

This spawned a joke when one of my colleagues left his PC unlocked. I went into his Windows time zone localization settings and I customized the AM/PM string to be |time instead of AM or PM.

In effect, this made his task bar read 11:09 |time for example. Things like windows explorer also reflected this.

This, however, is not where he found the issue.

The clock module in our software was a very faint watermark on the back of the main screen of our multimedia application. He launches the application locally and it says 11:09 |time in giant lettering.

He immediately suspects that someone has modified the application code on his local machine and starts looking through the time module line-by-line. Didn't look for differences in version control or see if other coworkers had the same problem. We finally had to stop him and explain it so he wouldn't burn a bunch of time trying to debug a Windows feature he didn't know about.

 

Oh, wait, this one was back in the days of mIRC and the C:/con/con bug (trying to access that path on a Windows 95, or even 98 machine, would cause it to freeze leaving no choice but an hard reboot).

I entered a crowded channel and wrote in whitecolor that path then waited for a long list of user connections timing out. πŸ˜…

 

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

 

a guy i worked with brought in a musical card that played "she's got the look", which it started playing at the "nananana na" bit. because we were in the time&attendance industry, we had tons of equipment that as used for testing. we took the card apart and hooked it onto the siren output on one of test units. i set up teamviewer on the machine that ran the controlling software for the hardware and we ran a long cable to one of the other guys' desk and hid this little speaker inside an enormous test rig behind him.

every now and then, we would log into the pc and play "she's got the look" for only about 3 or 4 seconds. we'd play it once a day and sometimes not play it for days or even over a month. eventually everyone in the company knew about it, even our technical director, but nobody spoke about it, even after hearing it being played.

to make it worse, because we had teamviewer, we could play this from anywhere, so it couldn't have been me or the other guy in my office, because we had already left for the day, or gone for coffee. after about a year and a bit we moved to new offices, so the setup was moved to the ceiling of the new place, right above where this guy sat. i eventually got a new job and left, but the people that were still there kept up with it. in total this went on for almost two years before he found the speaker.

man, it was fun watching him go through his drawers, look under his desk, inside his pc, etc trying to find where the music was coming from. i think he hates that song now. :D

 

I used to have a phone with an IR sensor that you could program with the signals from your regular TV remote controls. I had a lot of fun convincing people their TV was broken or haunted as it "magically" turned on and off.

 

Back in the early 2000s, I was working at a global ISP as an SA. In addition to the large-screen devices that the enterprise monitoring displayed to, our monitoring center had a few large-screen TVs in the room. The monitoring center also had a big glass window that opened out into the hallway that we had to walk through to get back to our desks. Every so often, I would bring a universal remote with me to work and, as I'd pass by the window (either going to or coming back from) for lunch, I'd use the control to switch the TVs' channels and max their volumes.

 

alias nano='vim' on our UAT server.

I got an email from my former Supervisor two months after I left the company.

 

A really effective prank is setting the init-default to 0.

I did that to an annoying co-worker back in the early 2000s. They ended up calling out the hardware vendor to come fix their workstation. Obviously, since it was an OS-level setting, when the FE replaced the "faulty" power module, it didn't fix the problem. It apparently occurred to neither of them that there might be a problem with the OS (in defense of the FE, he was just a hardware-monkey; but the workstation owner was an SA and should have thought to boot off of media so he could mount the boot drive and examine the logs), so, the FE ended up replacing the entire workstation.

On the plus side, because our employer had a platinum service contract, the dispatch of the FE and the replacement of the workstation was essentially "free".

 

In my first programming job I worked at a manufacturing plant where we were more or less shut down between Christmas and new years. IT was mandatory attendance for the jobs that ran for closing, so we made up gag/joke programs every year.

My best was an exact copy of a master file maintenance screen (think old green screen) but when you ran it, it displayed a series of messages like 'Item Master deleted, BOM Master deleted'. We would put it behind a random menu option. The phone calls were priceless!!!

 

I created a shutdown script and put it on autostart in windows OS(I forgot its name though. It runs automatically when system starts) and everytime they turn on the system, it automatically shuts down for no reason.

No one could figure out why!!!

So they had to format the whole hard drive. I don't remember why I did it though!!

 

In our office we replaced some DNS entries on the router, so it redirected (to NSFW pages) people wanting to waste time during work time, so they felt embarrassed for this bad habit. ;-)

 

I once changed Windows to be in high contrast mode for a coworker that left the computer unlocked... He kind of liked the experience and kept it that way for weeks πŸ˜…

Classic DEV Post from Oct 11

Which unknown/smaller web development blogs do you read? πŸ“–πŸ‘€

Molly Struve profile image
Elasticsearch wrangler. Speaker. Runner. Show Jumper. Always Ambitious. Never Satisfied. (she/her)

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