Reddit hackers target companies with ‘underpaid’ posts by hijacking tills

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Business receipts from around the world are being hijacked by hackers who are telling underpaid employees to organise against their tight-fisted bosses.

Posts shared on social media appear to show receipt printers being used to remotely print messages that suggest workers form unions to negotiate a better deal with employers.

The messages have been connected to members of the r/Antiwork board on the networking website Reddit, which describes itself as a community of people who want to "end work" and "get the most out of a work-free life".

Several images claiming to show the incidents display the name of the subreddit on receipts.

Last Tuesday, a user named u/JAC16420 took to the board to congratulate its members for getting a message printed at his work which advised that employees had a "protected legal right" to discuss their pay with colleagues.

He said: "these keep randomly printing out at my job, which one of you is doing this because it's hilarious"

"me and my co-workers need answers."

Another memo appealed to McDonald's employees in the United States, reading:

‘How can the McDonald’s in Denmark pay their staff $22 an hour and still manage to sell a Big Mac for less than in America?’

"Answer: UNIONS!"

Many theories have emerged over how the hackers have pulled off the stunts, with some claiming that they have been faked by people with access to their own receipt printers.

However, the boss of a cybersecurity firm said that he has seen actual network traffic heading towards network traffic going to receipt printers that have poor safety controls.

Andrew Morris from GreyNoise told Motherboard: “A technical person is broadcasting print requests for a document containing workers rights messaging to all printers that are misconfigured to be exposed to the internet and we've confirmed that it is printing successfully".

The surprise printer hack does have a precedent. In 2019, a PewDiePie fan connected to random printers online to make them print out appeals to subscribe to the YouTuber's channel.

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