Update: We have a winner! See who was named Hack Madness Champion.
After 10 days and nearly 28,000 votes, MIT Hack Madness has been narrowed to its final two hacks.
The 2006 Caltech cannon heist and the 1982 Harvard-Yale football game face off to decide the MIT community’s favorite hack. Voting is now closed. The champion will be declared on Friday, March 14 (Pi Day).
Arguably the tournament’s “top seeds,” the cannon heist and football game won each of their four matches by an average of 65 percent. View results for all 30 matches in the updated bracket then return to Slice of MIT to see who was named the Hack Madness champion.
Will it be the Harvard-Yale Game? The three-hacks-in-one-game escapade, which took four years to plan, included two different hacking groups and completely disrupted the nationally television football game. According to MIT Technology Review, CBS broadcaster Brent Musberger mistakenly announced that a bomb had floated down from the stands and exploded.
From “That Hack, 25 Years Later,” MIT Technology Review:
“This is the only hack that I have consistently been called about during my eight years at MIT,” says MIT Museum science and technology curator Deborah Douglas, whose curatorial responsibilities include hacks. “It is certainly in the top five hacks, and I rank it the greatest. It transcended categories and connects with the past better than almost any other hack.”
Will it be the Caltech Cannon Heist? More than 30 hackers—some posing as the fictional Howe & Ser Moving Co.—played a role in transporting Caltech’s three-ton cannon more than 2,500 miles from Pasadena to Cambridge. Upon arrival at MIT, hackers placed a custom 21-pound replica Brass Rat on the cannon’s barrel and designed a plaque to commemorate the prank.
Harvard-Yale Game vs. Cannon Heist
From “Secrets to the Caltech Cannon Heist Revealed,” Slice of MIT:
With help from fake documents, uniforms, maps, and a doctored tow truck, they convinced the security guard that Howe & Ser were legitimate contractors. The security guard even provided directions and offered traffic cones.
“We left a bunch of details out of this story,” Mr. Ser says. “There’s a lot we’ll never reveal. But for the record, we did not rent a helicopter.”
In 1982, two groups of hackers inflated a weather balloon near the 50-yard line that spelled “MIT” before it burst, spelled “M-I-T” with their bodies at halftime, and tricked fans into holding “M-I-T” signs in the stands.
In 2006, students—posing as the Howe & Ser Moving Company—traveled cross-country to rival Caltech and transported the school’s three-ton cannon back to MIT. They also fashioned an over-sized Brass Rat for the cannon’s barrel.