Why government is advising people to send nudes on road signs?

There are lots of cases where hackers do not try to obtain money illegally or attack the victims’ information security and they just play pranks on others. This is the case of an electronic traffic signal in Kentucky, US, which was hacked to display the phrase “Send nudes”.

After some drivers reported the incident, the traffic signal was turned off by local government officials, although some photos of the hacked signal were already circulating on social media.

Amber Hale, a local government spokeswoman, said it is not yet known who is responsible for this information security incident, although she claims that work is already being done so that this does not happen again. Hale also mentioned that these traffic signals are not operated by the government, but belong to a company that manages a road infrastructure project in Whitley County.

In addition, the county issued a statement regarding the hacking: “We were notified that the message on this sign was modified. The contracting company was also informed, so the signal was temporarily disabled.”

There are no clues yet as to how this incident occurred, although the statement mentions that these systems are password protected and local access is required to make any modifications, so it is likely to be just an oversight of the staff working on this project.

The spokesperson concluded her message by saying that she has received reports of other similar incidents in other areas of the US, so it is no surprise that something similar has happened in Kentucky, although action will be taken as, as mentioned in other incidents, this is illegal.

Over the past year, a number of similar incidents were reported throughout the US, although one of the most known cases occurred in New York, where some signs placed on streets surrounding a construction showed somewhat aggressive messages. “CARS ARE KILLING MACHINES”, “GLACIARES GET MELTED BY USING CARS”, are some of the messages displayed by the hacked traffic signals.

On other occasions, information security specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) have reported similar incidents involving electronic billboard hacking. Hackers infiltrate the control systems on these screens to modify the displayed content, usually replacing it with pornography.