A security researcher from California has learned that trying to beat the system doesn’t always work. Instead, it can backfire spectacularly.
According to Mashable, the researcher known as Droogie tried to outsmart the California Department of Motor Vehicles by getting a vanity plate that said “Null.” Since that’s the computer equivalent of no specific value, Droogie thought he could potentially avoid tickets as his plate would effectively become “invisible” in the DMV’s system.
Everything seemed to going fine as Droogie didn’t get any tickets the first year. However, things started to take a turn when he tried to renew his tags online and kept getting an “invalid information” message.
Things quickly spiraled from there as Droogie eventually got a parking ticket. He then received countless others totaling more than $12,000 (£9,952 / €10,742). While he wasn’t responsible for those offenses, all of the tickets were addressed to him.
This is odd to say the least, but it appears a third party processing company that works with the DMV had their system setup to have incomplete license plates show up as “Null.” As a result, these were then linked to Droogie who was ticketed.
Droogie reached out to the DMV and they contacted the processing company to have the tickets wiped out. However, the company hasn’t changed their system so Droogie still keeps getting new tickets and they’re valued at more than $6,000 (£4,975 / €5,371) already.
Unfortunately, no one seems interested in helping him as the DMV and Los Angeles Police Department told Droogie to just change his plate. However, he doesn’t want to do that as he said “I didn’t do anything wrong.” That’s understandable and it’s hard to believe the DMV didn’t prevent someone from getting a “Null” vanity plate in the first place.
H/T to The Drive