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‘Go F*** Yourself’: Electronic Road Sign Hacked To Display Profanity In US | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


​An electronic construction sign was hacked to display a profane message in the US state of Texas. Houston Public Works officials said they were unaware of the origins of the expletive seen on the digital road sign. It was eventually shut off, however, not before drivers took pictures and posted them on social media.

Updated Sep 13, 2023 | 03:22 PM IST

An electronic construction sign displays profanity after being hacked in Houston, Texas. | Courtesy: Cynthia Livin

Photo : Twitter

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • An electronic construction sign displayed profanity in downtown Houston, in the US state of Texas.
  • ‘Due to weather’, the first message read, before changing to ‘go f*** yourself’.
  • Similar incidents involving hacked digital road signs have been reported previously in Mumbai.
An electronic construction sign was hacked to display a profane message in the US state of Texas on Monday. Public works officials in the city of Houston said they had no idea how the digital road sign ended up showing such explicit content.

“Due to weather,” said the first message, before changing to offensive part that read: Go F*** Yourself’.

The strongly-worded text appeared at Westhiemer and Montrose, one of the busiest intersections in downtown Houston, and was reportedly on display for hours until a city inspector turned it off.

However, drivers passing by the road sign were quick to snap pictures and record the profanity on video, one of which was uploaded to the social media site X.

“Even us Texans’ are over this heat,” the caption read, suggesting a link between the misdemeanour and a recent heatwave that brought the state’s grid “the closest it has been to outages since 2021 winter storm”.

Whether or not the expletive had anything to do with record-breaking heat in the Lone Star State remains unknown, with the culprit still on the loose. Houston Public Works officials, however, said they don’t operate the sign that was tampered with and are still trying to identify its hacker, according to ABC 13.

Since the component used to manage the sign is locked inside a box attached to it, it’s likely that the suspect either had authorisation to operate the equipment or has past experience hacking digital signs, which might involve accessing it without being granted the permission to do so.

It’s not the first time an electronic sign has been manipulated to display vulgar words. In March, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation was forced to shut off a speed limit board after abusive words appeared on it.
A diversion sign near Haji Ali was hacked last year, reading: “ Smoke weed everyday ”
A similar incident was also reported in Powai .

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