Nice hack, but potentially dangerous.
Fox News picked it up:
Austin Public Works spokeswoman Sara Hartley said the incident was not initially reported to police, but will be shortly. The sign was reverted back to its original message within hours, according to Hartley, who insisted the signs are tamper-resistant and equipped with external locks.
“This sign was broken into, it was not just a ‘walk up and change the sign’ kind of thing,” Hartley told FOXNews.com. “This is a new one for us, we’ve never had it happen before.”
She said she did not know whether any other signs in the area had been altered.
According to the blog i-hacked.com, some commercial road signs, including those manufactured by IMAGO’s ADDCO division, can be easily altered because their instrument panels are frequently left unlocked and their default passwords are not changed.
“Programming is as simple as scrolling down the menu selection,” i-hacked.com reports. “Type whatever you want to display … In all likelihood, the crew will not have changed [the password].”
I-hacked.com warns readers not to try to alter the signs, which cost roughly $15,000.
ADDCO Chief Operating Officer Brian Nicholson told FOXNews.com that the company is sending out notices to customers on the potentially dangerous security flaw.
“It’s incumbent upon users to change the default password and secure the sign with a padlock,” Nicholson said. “We’re having our engineers review this information.”