Russian Family Charged for Unintentional 'Anti-Army' Message on Hacked Holiday Decor

Written by Jeppe W

Jan.03 - 2024 11:34 AM CET


Trending Now

In Veliky Novgorod, Russia, a family has been charged with discrediting the Russian army after their smart garland displayed the message "Glory to Ukraine."

The family claimed that the Wi-Fi-controlled garland was intended to show a New Year's greeting.

The incident was reported by TASS and detailed by the Telegram channel Baza. According to Baza, 43-year-old Andrey had assembled the smart garland using instructions from a YouTube blogger. He bought a microcontroller and LED strip, then downloaded the firmware. Initially, the garland showed a New Year's message, but at midnight, it automatically switched to the Ukrainian slogan.

Further investigation on a forum revealed that several people across Russia experienced similar issues with their smart garlands. The forum moderator speculated that the firmware's creator might be involved. A user mentioned that the programmer, allegedly from Kharkiv, implemented this as "revenge for the bombings." Other forum users theorized that the smart garlands could have been hacked via their Wi-Fi connections.

This peculiar case highlights the potential vulnerabilities of smart devices and raises questions about the legal implications of device hacking in the context of political messages.