Hackers Disrupt Traffic With Signs

Mon February 16, 2009 - West Edition

AUSTIN (AP) Apparent slacker hackers with time to kill brought a raised eyebrow or two to the faces of motorists at a busy Austin intersection.

Electronic signs intended to warn motorists of construction near the intersection of Lamar and Martin Luther King boulevards were changed Jan. 28 to warn of “Zombies Ahead! Run for your lives!”

The two signs are about a half mile west of the University of Texas campus.

Austin Public Works spokeswoman Sara Hartley said the message was only displayed for a few hours. She said the hackers cut a padlock to get into the signs’ computers.

Hartley also told KXAN-TV in Austin that the stunt is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine if the hackers are ever found.