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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A former Gizmodo author modified his title to ‘Slackbot’ and stayed undetected for months

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Hiding on Slack isn’t all that arduous, apparently; you simply must fake you’re a bot. That’s what IT Brew’s Tom McKay did when he left Gizmodo in 2022, and he went undetected by the location’s administration for months.

In a post on X, McKay shared some screenshots of the brand new “Slackbot” persona he took on after he formally left Gizmodo. He additionally confirmed to The Verge that this foolish prank actually occurred.

In the event you’re not glued to Slack for a lot of the day like I’m, then you definately may not know that Slackbot is the pleasant robotic that lives within the messaging service. It helps you do issues like set reminders, discover out your workplace’s Wi-Fi password, or let you understand if you’ve been talked about in a channel that you just’re not part of.

When it was his time to go away, McKay swapped out his present profile image for one which resembled an angrier model of Slackbot’s actual icon. He additionally modified his title to “Slackbot.” You may’t simply change your title on Slack to “Slackbot,” by the way in which, because the service will let you know that title’s already been taken. It does work should you use a particular character that resembles one of many letters inside Slackbot, although, such as replacing “o” with the Unicode character “о.”

The transfer camouflaged McKay’s lively Slack account for months, letting his account evade deletion. It additionally allowed him to ship bot-like messages to his colleagues equivalent to, “Slackbot truth of the day: Hello, I’m Slackbot! That’s a truth. Have a Slack-ly day!” My colleague Victoria Tune, who beforehand labored at Gizmodo, isn’t all that stunned that this case unfolded, and says, “As Tom’s former coworker and a G/O Media survivor, this tracks.”

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In fact, not each firm will fall for this trick, as some have safety measures in place to forestall this sort of factor. However maybe Gizmodo’s administration thought that McKay’s account had already been deleted. Or possibly they only weren’t eagle-eyed sufficient to identify a replica Slackbot with a suspicious pair of brows.

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