How would Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels further their agenda if they were alive today? They maybe would have hacked into businesses’ receipt printers and what not to churn out the Communist Manifesto.
Well, it looks like they are around. At several businesses, antiwork manifestos have been printed on the receipts. In addition, reports state that someone had hacked at least a dozen companies and was spamming the receipts with comments that sure seem something a Marxist would do.
“ARE YOU BEING UNDERPAID?” reads one receipt. “You have a protected LEGAL RIGHT to discuss pay with your coworkers.”
“Begin ORGANIZING A UNION,” another one said. “GOOD employers are not afraid of these, but ABUSIVE ones are.”
The print-out manifestos seem to point to the subreddit r/antiwork. A community that is dedicated to combating abusive labour practices and workers’ rights. Several posts of the receipts began sprouting up here.
“Yo, these keep randomly printing out at my job,” one user wrote, “which one of you is doing this because it’s hilarious. Me and my co-workers need answers.”
Have been mixed reactions to the posts. Some have come out in support, while others have shown their displeasure with the ongoing antiwork plan, “Love r/antiwork, but please stop spamming my receipt printer.”
The hacker or groups of hackers behind this are still to be identified. However, Andrew Morris, founder of cybersecurity firm GreyNoise, told Vice that whoever is hacking the printers is doing so “in an intelligent way.”
“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,” Morris told the site. He added that while he couldn’t confirm exactly how many printers have been hacked, he believes “thousands of printers are exposed.”
All said and done; it is a bit of fresh air. It is not very often that one sees some honest-to-God cyberpunk activism out there in the world. But, of course, it is still to be determined how skilled this hacker is. Still, he/she/they are attempting to take down large companies with a computer and a simple message: “Rise up against your capitalist, megacorp overlords — one receipt at a time.”