CALIFORNIA — A genius in California tried to prank the DMV, only for it to backfire. Hard.
According to Wired, the poor chap in question is security researcher Joseph Tartaro. Tartarto, who goes by Droogie, presented his very unfortunate experience at the DEF CON hacking conference in Vegas.
So the story goes that back in 2016, Droogie decided to register "NULL" as his new vanity California license plate.
He'd done it for giggles, but also on the off chance it would confuse the DMV's automatic license plate readers and ticketing system and render him invisible.
It was smooth sailing for the first year or so, until Droogie got a legit $35 parking ticket.
After he paid it off, more tickets addressed to him started coming. They were for cars he didn't have, cited in places he'd never been to, coming out to an eye-popping $12,049.
Turns out a private citation processing center had a whole database of outstanding tickets rendered "null" due to incomplete data, that have since been linked to Droogie's "NULL" plate and mailing address. Ah, the irony.
Droogie tried to call the citation center and explain his situation, but they gave no Fs. Lucky for him, the DMV got in touch with the private citation company and got his $12,000 worth of fines erased.
But the bad news is, the system remains unchanged, so the tickets, they're still a-comin'.
At DEF CON, he said the system had about $6,000 worth of tickets pegged on him, but insists he won't pay a damn penny.
He's not changing his plates either, despite both the California DMV and the LAPD telling him to.