You’ve heard about computer hacking. You may even have heard of hacking automobiles. And now hackers have had their way with the most important appliance in the home: the coffeemaker. If it’s a Keurig brand anyway.
Keurig brewers use those ubiquitous K-cups to make one cup of coffee at a time. When the company introduced their Keurig 2.0 last August, it added a new piece of tech—a form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. The new devices come with a sensor that only allows brewing if you’re using company-approved coffee. Other—read cheaper—kinds of pods get rejected. Older approved brand K-cups also got snubbed by the new machines, meaning that even Keurig loyalists could not use any pods they had in stock.
But hackers—who basically run on coffee themselves—could not resist this challenge to their caffeine supply. Some claim to have fooled the 2.0’s DRM sensor simply by placing a used foil lid from an accepted K-cup on top of an unapproved K-cup. Another 2.0 customer demonstrated how placing a small magnet near the sensor can confuse the system into accepting multiple different brands of K-cups.
Keurig apparently missed the memo explaining that consumers like to have choices. That goes double when you it comes to their morning Joe.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]