Playing Hookie Online

Playing Hookie Online

Mike Piccolo’s 8 year old niece managed to play virtual hookie for 3 weeks. What started as an apparent glitch turned out to be a clever bit of deception by the niece.

The trick? She discovered that the more times you enter the incorrect password on Zoom, the longer your account is locked. Also, the message when your account is locked is the same as if you enter a wrong password.

No word on the punishment, but she seems to have a future in data security.

My sister has three kids, all are currently in Zoom classes. Mysteriously one day, my niece’s zoom stopped working. She went and told my sister who tried for over an hour to get her logged back in but could not. She figured it was a weird glitch.

Day 5: Issue continues. After hours on the phone with Zoom tech support the techs are completely stumped. They say that the account was locked at some point but my sister knows there has been hundreds of login attempts from multiple locations so that makes sense. (or does it?)

Day 6: Again, same issue with Zoom. The teacher recreates the whole zoom classroom from scratch. All thirty students have to update their calendar invites, re-login, etc. “This has to work, right??” Nope.

Day 7: Multiple calls to the principle finally gets the schools computer teacher to come out to the house to try and debug the issue on site. No luck.

The rest of week 2: My sister has essentially given up on Zoom class for her and is now having to fully homeschool her. “At least I get to help you around the house” my niece says innocently. What a sweetheart.

Week 3: Now my sister is not even trying to have her attend school and is doing one on one homeschool. The rest of the time, my niece is helping out her siblings with their school (or playing if my sister is too busy to make sure she isn’t)

Yesterday: My sister sent my niece back to her friend’s house where the problem seems to be happening less often. They sign her in and Zoom which seems to be working well for a while. Her friend happens to walk around the corner and sees my niece log out of Zoom!

My sister’s friend is on to the con at this point. She now secretly watches from the other room where my niece cannot see her. After about an hour on Zoom, my niece can’t take it anymore and executes the con to escape the boredom.

My sister’s friend watches as my niece logs out, then repeatedly types in the wrong password to her account about 20 times. What my niece had figured out is that when you log in with an incorrect password, Zoom will lock your account for a set amount of time.

The more times you do this, the longer the wait period for you to get back into Zoom. She also noticed that the error that is presented to a user when they are locked is “Incorrect password” and not “your account has been locked”

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