Hackers Having Fun in Georgia: Ebola Outbreak Ahead
Every hacker has been there. You’re driving down the road, you see an electronic sign. What’s controlling that sign? How hard would it be to change the message, even by a character?
Someone with access to a computer controlling a construction sign in Gwinnett County, Georgia, which is about 40 miles northeasterly from Atlanta, found out recently by changing a sign from “Road Work Ahead” to “Ebola Outbreak Ahead.” Someone took notice and reported to Mashable. On further investigation, it turned out there was literally no security involved in the situation. Nothing was broken, no protocols had to be leap-frogged. Nothing like that. Rather, numerous people had regular, casual access to the computer which controls the sign.
A construction company representative told the local press that there was no particular difficulty in changing the message on the sign. The sign had not been tampered with externally, outlets noted.
As you can see, someone had a lot of fun:
Hacking signs is a common activity across the United States, so much so that in 2011, Gizmodo published a sort of guide on how to do so. While tactics like this could be used to cause serious harm, in the years since the advent of the programmable sign, there have been no major cases of this happening.
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