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Rick McGrath [Celluloid 01.29.09] zombies news

Brain-eating hackers are now changing messages on digital road signs to read, "Zombies Ahead."

A portable traffic sign at Lamar Boulevard and West 15th Street, near the University of Texas at Austin, was hacked into during the early hours of Jan. 19. "It was clever, kind of cute, but not what it was intended for," said a state transportation official. "Those signs are deployed for a reason — to improve traffic conditions, let folks know there's a road closure. Or warn about the undead."

"It's sort of amusing, but not at all helpful," he said.

Tampering with portable road signs is illegal and potentially dangerous to drivers. It is a misdemeanor in Texas, with penalties ranging from fines to potential jail time. According to the blog, 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," reports. "Type whatever you want to display … In all likelihood, the crew will not have changed [the password]." ADDCO Chief Operating Officer Brian Nicholson tsaid 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."

In the meantime, if you're driving in Austin, you can rest assured: There are no zombies ahead.

Or are there...

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rcdude (12 years ago) Reply


I heard about this earlier today on Lost Zombies. It's pretty funny. ^_^


emobadger (12 years ago) Reply

certainly sounds like a cover up to me

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