Guerilla activists hack Bank of America ATMs all over San Francisco

They turned them into “Automated Truth Machines.” (Now they’re exponentially more useful than the totally useless Wells Fargo ATMs in the Mission.) Hacking! Rainforest Action Network explains how it was done:

The activists used special non-adhesive stickers designed to look exactly like BoA’s ATM interface. But instead of checking and savings accounts, these new menus offered a list of everything BoA customers’ money is being used for, including investment in coal-fired power plants, foreclosure on Americans’ homes, bankrolling of climate change, and paying for fat executive bonuses.

Get the whole story, an interactive map of the project, and lots more pictures here.

32 Responses to “Guerilla activists hack Bank of America ATMs all over San Francisco”

  1. House says:

    Awesome, but stickers aren’t hacking.

  2. Matthew says:

    Yeah. I like it, but it would’ve been cooler if they actually hacked the machines. Jailtime is sexy.

  3. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    That’s totally fucking brilliant!

  4. OP says:

    Wow…way to punish the 99% trying to access their money.

  5. Erik says:

    At first I was like “holy shit”, but then I realized that “hack” was used in the MIT “to screw around with” sense here, not in the more common “to break into a computer” sense.

  6. C’mon, say it like you’re French: détournement! I know, it’s like I’m beating a dead Debord over here.

    • Brillo says:

      So these stickers are the accoutrements of détournement? That’s got serious caché de la boulevard.

  7. baddie says:

    totally hacked my coffee with some cream this morning.

  8. Sweet T says:

    I approve this message.

  9. danfinger says:

    You shoulda seen the size of the hack I left in the men’s toilet at Starbuck’s today (Mission @ Fremont)

    I feel 8.5 pounds lighter.

  10. David Lively says:

    Stickers aren’t hacking? Do you have any idea where the term “hacking” came from?!?

  11. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    Uhhh… Anyone who thinks that this does not qualify as a hack does not really have a firm grasp on the concept of hacking. Computers are merely one possible medium for the mindset and intent of the hacker. Stuff along the lines of this hack is generally referred to as “culture hacking” or “culture jamming”. Perhaps the most famous group in this particular sub-genre would be the Yes Men.

  12. simon stark says:


  13. Starchy says:

    I approve of this use of stickers and ATMs, but the comments thread on this blog post isn’t nearly pedantic or vitriolic enough for me. B+.

  14. welshbach says:

    I woulda thought this was subvertizing – or did that term die in the 90s?

  15. Chalkman says:

    I would have gone with the much clearer “fuck with”, as in “guerilla activists fuck with b of a’s ATMs all over sf”

  16. landon says:

    it is hacking. but, because of the title says hacking atm’s, and atm’s are computers, it is confusing.

  17. Preems says:

    i learned about hacking today, thanks commenters