Hackers leave quirky messages on electronic road signs

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Hackers left quirky messages on electronic road signs along I-30 in Dallas. (KTRK)

Drivers in Dallas may have gotten a good chuckle at the messages posted on electronic road signs, but the Texas Department of Transportation isn't taking the hacking incident lightly.

At least four signs were hacked overnight along Interstate 30. One near Westmoreland Road read "Bernie for President." Another read "Go back home, work is canceled." Two others read "Donald Trump is a shape shifting lizard."

TxDOT says it is looking into how the signs, which belong to a contractor named Buyers Barricades, were hacked and is trying to identify more ways to secure the signs.

"TxDOT takes this matter very seriously. These signs were secured and turned off until someone broke into them to enter these messages," said Tony Hartzel with TxDOT. "Such actions endanger the safety of themselves and motorists, and the messages could also become a distraction to motorists driving on the highway."

The search for whoever was responsible for writing the messages continues, and the transportation department suggested the punishment won't be light.

"A person was arrested and charged in Williamson County earlier this month following a similar incident. He was charged tampering with a transportation communications device, which is a third-degree felony," Hartzel said.
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