There have been lots of reports through the years of digital signage systems being hacked, but the usual end-product has been naughty videos taking the place of scheduled content. Something very different happened recently in Iran.
The German digital signage publication produced by invidis is reporting how a hack took control of the track information screens on the Iranian rail system, displaying fake messages about train delays or cancellations.
The displays checked by the hackers showed information such as “long delay due to cyber attack” or “train canceled”. They also asked passengers to call the country’s Supreme Leader’s Office Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s phone number for more information.
According to information from the country, the hack wreaked havoc at Iran’s train stations. Iran had disconnected many servers from the Internet after several foreign cyber attacks on uranium processing plants and other critical infrastructure. The digital signage systems of the railway were obviously still connected to the internet.
IT security is also becoming more and more important in digital signage projects. One reason why most integrators don’t use WiFi. Publicly visible displays simply provoke hacker attacks. In the more than 15 years of digital signage history, there have been hundreds of hacking incidents.