In Union County, North Carolina computer hackers and self styled political pundits are plying their trade in new and even less useful ways. The local Fox affiliate reports that electronic vandals cracked into the state DOT’s electronic road signs to leave a message regarding the president which stayed up for quite a while.
UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP)— An electronic DOT road sign was apparently hacked when a displayed message read “Impeach Obama.”
DOT officials told WSOC they had not heard of the display when first contacted on Sunday night, but sent an engineer to correct the sign afterward.
The sign, which was located at the intersection of Unionville-Indian Trail and Ridge roads in Union County, was displayed for an unknown amount of time over the weekend and corrected later Sunday evening.
Here’s the final result.
Right up front it needs to be pointed out that even if you found yourself getting a chuckle out of this, it’s a serious matter and we should not be endorsing it. Those roadsigns are there for a reason and frequently provide information critical to drivers. Also, it’s government property and it remains a crime to tamper with them, no matter how lighthearted the vandals may have felt the deed to be.
I was curious how difficult this task might be, so I contacted a friend of mine who has some experience in…. shall we just say, “less than conventional software management.” He asked not to be identified but provided this brief observation.
Security for those signs is a joke. I’m not saying it’s anyone’s fault because you wouldn’t expect them to spend a ton of design time putting in security. I mean, they’re not guarding the nuke codes here. Who would expect somebody to try to hack into a sign warning drivers about construction? But it doesn’t take an advanced degree to do it. Probably half the kids in high school today could pull it off.
Even so, this is a bad idea all the way around. If you’ve got something to say, write a letter to the editor in your local paper or take out space on a billboard.
Previous road sign hacking incidents warned of zombie infestations and enemy tanks on the roads.