Lubbock Prankster Hacks Into Road Sign - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/6/09

Lubbock Prankster Hacks Into Road Sign

It looks like a copycat crime hit Lubbock Friday morning. Hackers changed an Austin digital traffic sign to read "Zombies Ahead" last month. Now, pranksters have a different message for Lubbock residents.

Digital traffic signs warn you about icy road conditions, construction, alternate routes, and... the British? Lubbock's own Paul Revere changed a sign at the Loop and Spur 327 to read "OMG the British are coming." Then flash to say, "They are watching you." The sign originally read "Frankford, exit next right."

Several motorists like Javier Castaneda pass by the sign every day and found the warning humorous. "I think it would probably wake some people up. Get them wondering where the heck they're going. If anything it's original. I think it's pretty harmless for the most part," he said. 

It may make you laugh, but the Texas Department of Transportation says changing a traffic sign is a serious offense. "It's serious because they do display important information. It's almost the same thing as removing a stop sign," said Dianah Ascencio of TxDOT. 

TxDOT says this could be a third degree felony, for which the punishment is two to ten years  of imprisonment or up to a $10,000 fine.

The sign is owned by Austin Bridge and Road and contracted to the Department of Transportation. The box that contained the hardware to program the sign was left unlocked, but the hacker still had to figure out how to get past a password security code. "We do feel like maybe somebody may have had some inside information as to how to manipulate the message board," says Ascencio.

Austin Bridge and Road removed the sign as soon as they heard of the problem around 7 a.m. Friday morning, and added locks to their signs to discourage pranksters. TxDOT takes the sign switch-up seriously and says they will try to prevent it from happening again. So pranksters beware, "They are watching you."

TxDOT put up permanent signs yesterday to tell motorists where the Frankford Exit is, so they removed the portable sign this morning and don't plan to put it back. No one NewsChannel 11 talked to had any idea who the culprit might be.

 

KcbdToGo.com For Your Cell Phone
Get the latest news, weather, sports and more on your mobile phone or PDA with KCBDToGo.com.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Earthquake dims stylish nightlife in Mexico City district

    Earthquake dims stylish nightlife in Mexico City district

    Saturday, September 23 2017 12:36 AM EDT2017-09-23 04:36:18 GMT
    Saturday, September 23 2017 6:56 AM EDT2017-09-23 10:56:59 GMT

    In the stylish Condesa neighborhood young revelers typically spill out from dimly lit bars and restaurants on a Friday night. But the first weekend since the 7.1-magnitude earthquake toppled buildings just blocks away began on a somber note.

    In the stylish Condesa neighborhood young revelers typically spill out from dimly lit bars and restaurants on a Friday night. But the first weekend since the 7.1-magnitude earthquake toppled buildings just blocks away began on a somber note.

  • McCain doesn't back GOP health care bill, drawing Trump ire

    McCain doesn't back GOP health care bill, drawing Trump ire

    Saturday, September 23 2017 12:46 AM EDT2017-09-23 04:46:21 GMT
    Saturday, September 23 2017 6:56 AM EDT2017-09-23 10:56:42 GMT

    McCain opposes latest GOP health care bill, drawing ire from Trump and possibly dealing death blow to repeal-and-replace effort.

    McCain opposes latest GOP health care bill, drawing ire from Trump and possibly dealing death blow to repeal-and-replace effort.

  • Dam failing as scope of Puerto Rico's disaster becomes clear

    Dam failing as scope of Puerto Rico's disaster becomes clear

    Friday, September 22 2017 4:06 AM EDT2017-09-22 08:06:51 GMT
    Saturday, September 23 2017 6:47 AM EDT2017-09-23 10:47:06 GMT

    They eye of Hurricane Maria is nearing the Turks and Caicos early Friday as Puerto Rico tries to recover from the storm's devastation.

    They eye of Hurricane Maria is nearing the Turks and Caicos early Friday as Puerto Rico tries to recover from the storm's devastation.

Powered by Frankly