The Dartmouth Cyber Security Initiative
Three students huddle around a laptop in a dormitory basement late on a Friday night. One walks over to a vending machine and swipes a dining card while the others stare intently at snippets of network traffic displayed on the screen. With a click and a whir, the machine drops its product, and the students break into wide grins. This vending machine was part of a pilot project instituted by Dartmouth College's vending machine supplier. To defray the network cabling cost, the supplier had configured these new machines to use Dartmouth's wireless network. With some protocol analysis, hijacked connections, and crafted packets, the students successfully tricked the machine into releasing items without charging a dining account.