Surely you know what a rickroll is, right? For those who don’t know, it’s a prank where the prankster tricks someone to click a video link, expecting a video of someing important. Instead, they get the music video for Rick Astley’s popular Never Gonna Give You Up. It’s a popular web prank, and has reached out into the real world on a number of occasions. Now one hacker has used a Raspberry Pi (a small, affordable hackable computer) to create a tool that exploits a vulnerability with Google’s Chromcast. Basically, one activated, the device will make every Chromcast in the wifi network start playing Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up. The prankster reached out to Google to help them patch the bug, but he reports that Google told him that it would not be fixed.
Dan Petro created the Rickremote from a Raspberry Pi, touchscreen, wireless cards, and a 3D printed plastic case. The entire device cost him less than $100 to make. Below, you can see a video of the Rickremote in action. It’s surprising to see just how easy this is to operate, and how seamless and simplistic a hack of Google’s TV device could be.
The hack seems like it could be a small issue for Chromcast users, especially in populated areas, which would be the target of pranksters. It doesn’t seem like a very big deal, but anyone with a Raspberry Pi with a wireless card could easily whip this up with minimal costs. It probably won’t be a very widespread issue, but Google’s not going to do anything about it. They say the exploit is a necessary part of the easy setup process, and therefore they will not be fixing this vulnerability. Chromcast users shouldn’t worry. This is a harmless, although potentially annoying, prank, and few people will even know how to create the device.