There’s no debate that the MacBook is one of the sexiest laptops on the market. They’re just as much a status symbol and style icon as they are a tool. So, it’s no wonder that so many people would love own one. However, the price of MacBooks quickly turns many people to other options. Seeing a MacBook go on sale by even a $100 is not a very common occurrence. So, when a MacBook price hack was shown that changes the price of a MacBook to $1: people took notice.
If you had to re-read that last sentence a few times, I don’t blame you. A MacBook for $1?! You can’t even get a Big Mac for $1 let alone one of the hottest laptops on the market. The MacBook price hack was shown off by ERPScan researchers. Check out their video for yourself:
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As you can see, the MacBook price hack much more complicated than entering a secret discount code at checkout. However, the hack is not incredibly complicated to the point that it’s not realistic.
Basically, what the security researchers did was connect a Raspberry Pi to the POS (point of sale) terminal network. Using malicious code, the “hackers” were able to access the back end of the system using a remote laptop. This allowed them to change the price of items like MacBooks to any price they wanted. Obviously if you walked into an Apple store and tried to check out a $1 MacBook the employee would likely realize something was wrong and stop the sale. However, if you were to buy a MacBook, an iPad, a pair of headphones, and some accessories; you could apply a hefty discount to the purchase and an employee may not notice unless they were closely watching the checkout display for price errors.
The most amazing part of this hack isn’t the MacBook price hack aspect. The real interesting part is that the hack worked on some of the most well-known and widely used POS systems. This means that literally thousands of stores could be vulnerable to this kind of hack. All the hackers needed was a $25 Raspberry Pi and access to the store’s network. In response to the hack, SAP (the POS system provider shown in the video) released an update to close the loophole. You have to wonder how many other loopholes are in their system just waiting to be discovered. If you have ever worked in retail then you know that these POS systems are not often known for being the most up-to-date pieces of software.
Unfortunately, for those of you with a lack of morals, it would seem the MacBook price hack vulnerability has been closed. I wouldn’t encourage you to go out and figure out how to hack POS terminals but this video has shown it can be done. Of course, if you were to do such a thing for nefarious purposes then you would be facing some legal trouble. My recommendation is to save up your money and buy a MacBook at full price. You’ll spend less money on legal fees in the end.