Atlanta electronic billboard hijacked to show Goatse

Smuggling Goatse into digital billboards is an old school (and gross) hack-prank by now, I know that I've tried it , but seldom as successful as this one. Atlanta police are investigating after Goatse appeared on a digital billboard in Buckhead on Saturday evening. It wasn't a small billboard either, and that image can make anyone gag at first sight, so people were obviously very upset. Several people who saw it even called 911.

11 alive reports that 'Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook is hoping police will catch whoever is behind what he said is hardly an innocent prank'.

"It is highly disturbing, aggravating, obnoxious and illegal," said Shook.

Dan Tentler a espected security researcher who works for Carbon Dynamics, has tweeted that he's been in contact with the company who owns the billboard, but was brushed off.

"I wanted to let you guys know that your customers are deploying these signs and not changing the default passwords, which, if an actual bad guy found this out, could lead to some unwanted tinkering with the signs, possibly some defacement,"

Tentler wrote in an email to the company back in April. Now Dan Tentler will probably find his name forever linked with "goatse bilboard" in Google searches for trying to be helpful.

"It would probably be a good idea to do one or more of the following: Contact the owners of the signs, ask them politely to apply some firewall rules … reconfigure the security posture of the signs … at least notify the customers that there is a potential security risk" wrote Dan Tentler, full sanitized email below.

Many things are connected to the internet, easily found via shodan.io, lots with no reason to really be connected to the Internet in this manner. Here's a toilet screen in Singapore for example.

USA Today reported that a group calling themselves 'Assange Shuffle Collective' claimed responsibility for the prank on Reddit. Meanwhile, many more electronic billboards like this are out there waiting to be hijacked.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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