Billboard hackings have turned common in the recent past. As observed frequently, the hack of Liverpool One shopping centre billboard, hack of Atlanta shopping centre billboard are few examples of how hackers are now using public billboards for their nefarious activities. In the Liverpool and Atlanta incidents, the hack was just harmless but now the Cardiff billboard hacking has sparked a public outrage.
From Queen Street in Cardiff, South Wales Police reportedly received many calls on Tuesday evening over concerns of what was being shown on the billboard. A statement released by police was as following:
“On Tuesday evening South Wales Police received a number of calls relating to concerns regarding messages being displayed on the screens in Queen Street, Cardiff. We alerted the city council and will investigate any crimes which may have been committed.”
The billboard is managed by blowUP media who have been legally contacted to give their statement on this matter. In an anonymous post made by the hackers later that day, they said it was just for ‘fun’ and they were successful in exploiting a vulnerability in the programming of the billboard.
The slogans included: “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, “Warning. This is a Shariah controlled zone. No alcohol. No gambling. No porn” and other such offensive messages and symbols were put on.
After switching off the screen midnight, the South Wales police has begun an investigation into this and has vowed to deal strictly under the law over such offensive actions meant to harm the public interests.