Starting on Tuesday I got emails asking me to participate in a survey about costs of college. I emailed the provider because I thought it was phishy as the name listed in the email wasn’t the same as the one in the letter and each directed to a different domain. So, I fought back.
One question was “why did you take out student loans?” to which I responded “to pay for college”.
Another was “why did cost influence your decision?” which is poorly worded, I responded “money is a scarce resource”. I think he or she wanted to ask “how”.
Once I saw the progress tracker move irregularly (it started at 10% at the first question and increased by 5% then 2% then 1%) I started fighting back. I viewed the page source code to see if there was anything amiss and inspired by XKCD I went to work. My total loan amount was “/$.00); DROP TABLE survey_data;–“, which is a common command to delete a table. If he or she has failed to remove code from inputs I’m hoping he or she lost his or her data. I tried a couple variants like data, survey, finance, report and so on in the successive slots. I felt bad for a moment as I could be destroying someone’s final or term paper data until I finished the survey and was directed to Penn State Harrisburg’s Home Page.