April Fool’s, Sysadmin Style

We like to have fun at our office. In fact, part of our Company Core Values states, “We thrive on humor and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.” Since April Fool’s Day is coming up, we wanted to provide you with a few funny pranks that could be used to cause a little (easily repairable) havoc among your fellow sysadmins.  Check out some of the pranks we recommend and experience April Fool’s, Sysadmin style.

Download AutoHotKey

Instructions

  1. Download and Install Autohotkey
  2. Create a new ahk file and paste in the code. My recommended file names for maximum stealth are listed below.
  3. Open the compiler located by default at C:\Program Files\AutoHotkey\Compiler\Ahk2Exe.exe
  4. Select your ahk file, choose the output exe name and location, and use this as the icon. This icon will make your executable completely blend in when your victims try to find your script in the task manager.
  5. Create your deployment.
    1. SetWallpaper.exe runs and exits, so you can deploy it with a simple install step
    2. The other two scripts run continuously and will need to be deployed with a two-step deployment
      1. Step 1: Copy step. Copy the script to the local machine, for example to c:\Windows\Temp
      2. Step 2: Command step to launch the exe and detach:
        start "" "c:\Windows\Temp\Taskhostwin32.ahk"

Changing a Co-Workers Wallpaper in Stealth Mode

This will change the wallpaper and take effect immediately. Put this in a schedule that runs every hour, for maximum annoyance. Your victim’s vain attempts to fix their wallpaper will quickly be overwritten. Make sure to use a bmp file type only. Be assured, this does not permanently change the wallpaper and will revert after a reboot.

 

April Fool's Sysadmin Style : Wallpaper Change

File Name:

SetWallpaper.ahk:

Script:

#NoTrayIcon ;Stealth Mode  

DllCall("SystemParametersInfo", UInt, 0x14, UInt, 0, Str, "\\path\to\wallpaper.bmp", UInt, 2)

Fun With HotStrings!

Use a specified word to trigger an action that will really drive your co-work crazy. In the below example we use ALT+F4 to close the window they are in, or trigger an annoying sound.

File Name:

Taskhostwin32.ahk:

Script:

;;;;; Header Stuff ;;;;;
#NoEnv ; Recommended for performance and compatibility with future AutoHotkey releases.
SendMode Input ; Recommended for new scripts due to its superior speed and reliability.
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir% ; Ensures a consistent starting directory.
#SingleInstance force ; If you edit the script and run again, it will replace the previous one without asking.
#NoTrayIcon ; stealth mode
;;;;; End Header ;;;;;

; Alt+F4 Hotstrings
::ticket::{Alt Down}{F4}{Alt Up} ; Working on a new ticket? Not anymore.
::steven::{Alt Down}{F4}{Alt Up} ; Now whenever someone types my name to send a chat or email, BAM! Alt+F4
::bing::{Alt Down}{F4}{Alt Up} ; "Why does my browser keep crashing every time I want to bing something?"
; you get the idea

; Less destructive option
::targets.username:: ; Trigger when the user logs in to something
Send targets.username ; Hotstrings replaces the typed text, this puts it back
SoundPlay, %A_WorkingDir%\Error.mp3 ; Something loud and annoying. Make sure to copy the file to the working directory first.
; You can even use built in system beeps/errors. See AutoHotKey Soundplay documentation for more info.
return

Slow Down Their Mouse

This prank counts mouse clicks and periodically decreases and increases the mouse sensitivity to drive your coworker insane.

Pranking Sysadmin Style : Slowing down their mouse

File Name:

svchost.ahk:

Script:

/* 
This counts clicks and messes with the mouse speed when your clickCount gets over 
the clickThreshold. When your clickCount gets over the clickThreshold, the 
clickThreshold is decreased so that the mouse settings are changed after fewer 
mouse clicks. When the clickThreshold gets down to 10, it resets back to max, 
the clickResetThreshold. Then the cycle repeats.
*/ 
;;;;; Header Stuff ;;;;;
#NoTrayIcon ; No tray icon so it runs hidden
#NoEnv ; Recommended for performance and compatibility with future AutoHotkey releases.
#SingleInstance force ; If you edit the script and run again, it will replace the previous one without asking.

SendMode Input ; Recommended for new scripts due to its superior speed and reliability.
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir% ; Ensures a consistent starting directory.
;;;;; End Header ;;;;;

; Variables:
global clickCount:= 0 ; cilckCount counts clicks. Initialize to 0.
global clickResetThreshold:=100 ;threshold to reset to after getting to zero (max)
global clickThreshold:=clickResetThreshold ; set initial clickThreshold to clickResetThreshold (max)

Menu, Tray, Tip, Clickcount: %clickcount%`, clickThreshold: %clickThreshold% ; initial values viewable by hovering over tray icon (remove #NoTrayIcon to see)

;Left mouse button hotkey
~LButton::
clickCount+=1 ; increase click count
Menu, Tray, Tip, Clickcount: %clickcount%`, clickThreshold: %clickThreshold% ; display updated values by hovering over tray icon (remove #NoTrayIcon to see)
If clickCount > %clickThreshold% ;only messes with the mouse if we've reached the clickThreshold
{
clickCount := 0 ; resets clickcount
If clickThreshold > 10 ; if the clickThreshold is over 10, decrease.
{
clickThreshold-=1 ; decrease clickThreshold. Mouse madness will happen sooner next time.
}
Else ; if clickThreshold is 10 or lower, reset to clickResetThreshold. 
{
clickThreshold:=clickResetThreshold; reset click Threshold to max. Mouse madness will happen least frequently now. (and slowly increase in frequency)
}

Menu, Tray, Tip, Clickcount: %clickcount%`, clickThreshold: %clickThreshold% ; display updated values by hovering over tray icon (remove #NoTrayIcon to see)

SPI_GETMOUSESPEED = 0x70 ; Constants for the DLL call
SPI_SETMOUSESPEED = 0x71

Sleep 1000 ;1 second delay after the last click
; Retrieve the current speed so that it can be restored later:
DllCall("SystemParametersInfo", UInt, SPI_GETMOUSESPEED, UInt, 0, UIntP, OrigMouseSpeed, UInt, 0)
Sleep 1000
; Now set the mouse to the slower speed specified in the next-to-last parameter (the range is 1-20, 10 is default):
DllCall("SystemParametersInfo", UInt, SPI_SETMOUSESPEED, UInt, 0, Ptr, 1, UInt, 0)
Sleep 1500
; Now set the mouse speed to be really fast
DllCall("SystemParametersInfo", UInt, SPI_SETMOUSESPEED, UInt, 0, Ptr, 20, UInt, 0)
Sleep 2000
; And back to original
DllCall("SystemParametersInfo", UInt, 0x71, UInt, 0, Ptr, OrigMouseSpeed, UInt, 0)
}
return

Wrapping Up

We hope you enjoy adding a little madness and insanity to your co-worker’s day this April Fool’s… just don’t blame us if your fellow sysadmins retaliate. After all, we only suggested you give the ‘said pranks’ a try…no one forced you into anything…right?! We’d also love to hear your feedback, so please leave us a comment. Good luck and happy pranking!

-Steven

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