Hacked road sign spells POOP

Filed Under: Law & order

First there was a warning that there were zombies on the road ahead, then there were signals that the British were invading America, now another hacked road sign has chosen to display some rather less serious messages.

Hacked road sign

According to media reports, drivers in downtown Houston found that road signs that should have been telling them there was a detour were diverting for a whole different reason.

The construction signs on Louisiana and Prairie had been changed from saying "Detour" to "POOP" and then ":) LOL".

I don't want to sound like too much of a curmudgeon, but it shouldn't be forgotten that hacks like this are actually illegal. And although presumably done with prankish intentions, messing around with roadsigns could have serious consequences.

That's a good reason why the control systems used to control electronic road signs should be kept under proper lock-and-key.

Furthermore, although the messages displayed on roadside signs are supposed to be properly secured with a password, there has been speculation in the past that many construction workers may leave them with their default settings.

As many of us in the computer security world know, sticking with a default password is never ever a good idea.

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4 Responses to Hacked road sign spells POOP

  1. Daniel J Hadfield · 1316 days ago

    The manuals for these types of roadsigns have been floating around the internet for a few years, because they are used by multiple people they are either kept on the default password or the password is written on the door.

  2. Mr Flapper Duck · 1316 days ago

    I approve of this mischief! Well done. Love it <3

  3. Don't take it. fight the system. blah blah blah. you can't stop us all. after all, we're all alike.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.