The curious story of how a user hacked his washing machine to repair it, after the company refused to share the firmware

The progress of household appliances has been evidenced in the operating systems with which the same devices come. Sometimes the damage can be software and not simply mechanical as it was in the past.

So some tweaks in the programming codes could optimize the use of these machines without having to run many uninstall practices, screws or motors.

Due to this feature, European legislation obliges home appliance manufacturers to share the firmware of a line of their appliances with users, in case the product presents a fault.

according to review xatakathis is nothing more than giving people the opportunity to repair their own appliance without having to call a technician or run the expense of a complete part change.

Despite the fact that it is established by law, the same portal rescues the case of a Twitter user who curiously, given the company’s refusal to share the firmware, hacked into a washing machine to begin the repair process.

The hacked washing machine

Let’s broadly understand what firmware is. It is nothing more than a computer program. The difference from common software is that this should be the unalterable part of electronic products.

In this section, operation information is stored which, if copied, leads to the creation of emulators. It’s a kind of intellectual property. However, according to the laws of the old continent, companies are obliged to share them in the event that a user registers a fault.

“After having sent your information, we inform you that we do not supply the firmware of our equipment. It is not a computer equipment, it is a household appliance and it is treated / repaired as such. Sincerely, Customer Service “, the company responded to the customer’s request, according to the Xataka review.

Instead, they offered him to buy the entire plate of the washing machine, which cost almost the same as the appliance.

Then, using an “Arduino programmed as ICSP and extraction software called AVRDUDE” he tried to access the computer content of the card. It didn’t stop and with a TL866 programmer he was able to extract the software and connect to the damaged chip.

This process is done with the help of his mother’s washing machine, which is a version similar to his.

Therefore, in the words of the user: “I don’t have a guarantee yet that the software is not corrupted, but it has some clear data, so at least it guarantees me that the extraction is correct, so now I can extract my mother’s and check it out. Now I can repair it completely, and in the event that the MCU is broken, I can change it, despite Beko’s ”,

He says that what he has done is within the legal framework and he could only be in trouble if he distributes the firmware on the Internet, which he is not willing to do.