CyberCrimeSecurity

Hackers Hijack Cardiff Billboard To Display Offensive Images

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

US President Donald Trump depicted as a lizard was one of the more amusing images to be shown

Hackers managed to exploit a security vulnerability and hijack a digital billboard in Cardiff city centre, before displaying a series of rude and offensive images.

South Wales Police are investigating the incident after “swastikas and far-right images” were reportedly displayed on the billboard on Tuesday night in a similar incident to one that occurred in Liverpool shopping centre earlier this year.

The screen in question is controlled by BluowUP Media and is located on Queen Street, the city’s main shopping street. It was switched off at midnight on Tuesday.

hacker

Hack attack

Police initially began investigating the incident after receiving several reports from members of the public over images that included a meme of US President Donald Trump depicted as a lizard, messages about “Sharia” and a poster which read “big brother is watching you”.

A spokesperson for South Wales Police issued a statement saying: “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.”

Although this particular incident is a trivial one, it serves to highlight the dangers of the Internet of Things (IoT) and showcases how anything that is internet connected is now at risk from hackers and cyber criminals.

It appears that in this case the hackers just used the opportunity to ‘have a little fun’ – as a post on a 4chan thread put it – but we all know that security vulnerabilities can be exploited for much more damaging purposes.

That’s why businesses need to make sure that they are prepared to deal with all kinds of cyber threats and always bake in security from the outset, even if they are not perceived to be a target.

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