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Madrid's bike rental scheme hacked with porn

Published: 30 Jun 2014 10:17 GMT+02:00

Meant to put Spain’s capital on a par with established ‘bike-friendly’ cities such as Paris, London and Barcelona, technical glitches plagued most of the docking stations in the scheme’s first week.

According to Spanish daily El País, most of the BICIMAD bikes circulating around Madrid on the day of the scheme’s inauguration were those donated by the city hall to journalists and cycling associations.

The company behind the scheme, Bonopark, blamed the malfunctions on the “huge demand” from users, a half-worthy excuse keeping in mind that 3,300 ‘Madrileños’ took out membership in the first week.

But city authorities now have a more glaringly obvious ‘glitch’ to deal with: many of the bikes’ docking stations show porn on their screens.

Hackers have inserted photos of a nude man with an erect penis on the touchscreens users have to access to rent out a bike.

"BICIMAD's docking stations hacked with porn. Madrid Town Hall should speak up about all these disasters," tweeted Ignacio Bazarra, former director of Spanish news agency EFE. The photo shows one of the 'troublesome'  docking stations next to a children's merry-go-round.

Bonopark has announced they are aware of the ‘hack’ but have refused to comment any further.

The company was already sued by Spain’s bicycle industry association (AMBE) back in March due to the numerous system malfunctions they had detected. 

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Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

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