title image what's up twitter-large

Act 1: Sunday afternoon

So you know when you’re flopping about at home, minding your own business, drinking from your water bottle in a way that does not possess any intent to subvert the Commonwealth of Australia?

It’s a feeling I know all too well, and in which I was vigorously partaking when I got this message in “the group chat”1.

Can you hack this man?|medium A nice message from my friend, with a photo of a boarding pass 🙂 A good thing about messages from your friends is that they do not have any rippling consequences 🙂🙂🙂

The man in question is Tony Abbott, one of Australia’s many former Prime Ministers.

if u google tony abbott u get this|small That’s him, officer

For security reasons, we try to change our Prime Minister every six months, and to never use the same Prime Minister on multiple websites.2

The boarding pass photo

This particular former PM had just posted a picture of his boarding pass on Instagram (Instagram, in case you don’t know it, is an app you can open up on your phone any time to look at ads).

Instagram post showing boarding pass|large The since-deleted Instagram post showing the boarding pass and baggage receipt. The caption reads “coming back home from japan 😍😍 looking forward to seeing everyone! climate change isn’t real 😌 ok byeee”

“Can you hack this man?”

My friend3 (who we will refer to by their group chat name, 𝖍𝖔𝖌𝖌𝖊 𝖒𝖔𝖆𝖉𝖊) is asking4 whether I can “hack this man” not because I am the kind of person who regularly commits 𝒄𝒚𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒐𝒏 on a whim, but because we’d recently been talking about boarding passes.

I’d said that people post pictures of their boarding passes all the time, not knowing that it can sometimes be used to get their passport number and stuff. They just post it being like “omg going on holidayyyy 😍😍😍”, unaware that they’re posting cringe.

screenshot of #boardingpass on instagram|medium People post their boarding passes all the time, because it’s not clear that they’re meant to be secret

Meanwhile, some hacker is rubbing their hands together, being all “yumyum identity fraud 👀” in their dark web Discord, because this happens a lot.

screenshot of #boardingpass on instagram

So there I was, making intense and meaningful eye contact with this chat bubble, asking me if I could “hack this man”.

Surely you wouldn’t

Of course, my friend wasn’t actually asking me to hack the former Prime Minister.