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Bike kiosk grumbleflick shocks Spaniards

Better than the funny feeling from riding over cobbles

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A hacked display in a public bicycle kiosk treated passers-by to a dose of porn last week.

Instead of displaying software connected with its role of managing bike lending the display in a kiosk in Zamora, Spain displayed extended extracts from a grumble flick, alternately amusing and shocking onlookers.

City official Francisco Guarido puzzled over the "unexpected sharpness" of the images. A pair of Spanish pensioners recognised the councillor at the scene and began berating him over the incident, as if he were responsible.

The almost silent film caper (sound quality was said to be abysmal) was brought to a halt after about a hour last Wednesday when police taped over the screen with two pieces of paper before the firm managing the kiosk intervened and reset the terminal. The mechanism of the hack remains unclear.

Spanish daily El Mundo has more on this amusing outrage to public decency, including a picture of the offending terminal, here.

Chris Lee, Valencia-based tech consultant and founder of cycle travel site CycleTourSpain.com, told El Reg that bike hire kiosks are becoming more commonplace across Spain.

"City bike hire facilities are catching on across a number of Spanish cities based on a model pioneered in Barcelona a few years ago," he said. "Some have a small fee and some are free in exchange for branding and advertising on bikes, and are designed for short-distance in-town use."

Presumably with no pun intended, he continued: "I've not heard of a hacking story like this before and it's clearly serious and needs to be looked at." ®

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