Hackers program highway sign with Zombie warning

Summary:In a true "sign of the times", so to speak, someone reprogrammed an electric highway sign to warn motorists of impending zombies. Here are the photos.

Here's a lighthearted failure suitable for Friday afternoon.

In a true "sign of the times", so to speak, someone reprogrammed an electric highway sign to warn motorists of impending zombies:

CAUTION ZOMBIES AHEAD!!!

THE END IS NEAR!!!!!!!!!

RUN FOR COLD CLIMATES

Here are the photos:

Update 1/30/09: The screens are manufactured by Imago. Looks like the signs run proprietary software and operating system.

These machines are programmed by a keypad located inside a compartment that can be locked. If the compartment isn't locked, thereby giving physical access to the keyboard, anyone can get inside. Although the manufacturer assigns a default password to every unit, many owners don't bother changing it. Therefore, reprogramming can be a simple matter of opening the unlocked unit, entering the default password, and typing a new display message.

In a sense, this can hardly be called a hack. It's really physical intrusion and takeover without any special feat of programming skill.

[Via fellow ZDNet blogger Adam O'Donnell. Photos from Dallas News video.]

Topics: Networking, Operating Systems, Security

About

Michael Krigsman is recognized internationally as an analyst, strategy advisor, enterprise advocate, and blogger. For CIOs and IT leadership, he addresses issues such as innovation, business transformation, project-related business objectives and strategy, and vendor planning. For enterprise software vendors and venture-funded star... Full Bio

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