… at least that’s what a pair of electronic road signs warned drivers on Wednesday:
Station KXAN in Austin has the details. Apparently a group of enterprising prankster hackers changed the messages on the road signs to warn of a zombie holocaust ahead. Some samples, taken from the video report:
“Caution! Zombies ahead! The end is near!!!!!”
“Zombies ahead! Run! Nazi zombies! Run!”
The prank counts as a definite act of hacking, because on top of cutting the padlocks protecting the computer interface of the signs, the hackers needed to get past the password protection. (Which, I would guess, involved putting in whatever the factory default is. Who would think of seriously password-protecting a road sign?)
Of course, the Austin Public Works is not amused, and was quick to point out that this is a crime which potentially endangers public safety (the signs are there to warn of traffic issues), not to mention an act of vandalism (cutting padlocks).
Provided it is a one-time prank, I find it pretty amusing. I’ll have less sympathy if this becomes a recurring or copycatted event.
For now, though, a little extra unexpected silliness in the world is really appreciated.
Update: Be sure to take the KXAN poll, on a tab on the story’s web page: Do you have a zombie escape planned out already?