If you are flipping through posts while sitting on the couch with kids nearby, skip past this one. The links are a little unsuitable for little kids.
There’s nothing new about digital billboards and digital signs getting hacked, but what is amazing is how at least the first incident made it so easy for just about anyone to do it.
Consider some roadside billboard in a part of Alabama that hackers used to mock former US Presidential candidate Marco Rubio. Someone found their way online and into the scheduling system for one or several boards, and uploaded and put into the rotation an imagined interpretation of Rubio’s tastes in, umm, candy … and lifestyle.
The reported hack at a board near Enterrprise, Alabama evidently happened because the login credentials were admin/admin. Groan. Only slightly better than password/password or 12345/12345.
The outdoor company has since apologized to local motorists …
Somebody on the ops team’s ears are probably still ringing …
Meanwhile, in Sweden, someone managed to hack a digital poster at a transit stop in Malmo, and changed the video rotation on the screen to hardcore porn. Link to newspaper story, but it is in Ikean.
If you these kinds of networks, assume the worst and protect accordingly. It always starts with passwords (but doesn’t/shouldn’t end there).
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.