Hacking video signs of the times

John C. Tanner
telecomseurope.net
Those of you in or around the digital signage space, pay attention:
 
ITEM: Police in the Russian city of Novorossiyskarrested a man for allegedly hacking into a video billboard in January and replacing the content with a traffic-stopping porn video that ran for about 20 minutes.
 
According to the Moscow Times, the man used the IP address of an organization in Chechnya to hack into the server in Moscow to post the video.
 
The interesting bit: the suspect said his target wasn’t the roadside billboard, but a screen at a Moscow store, according to the report.
 
NOTE: The digital signage market generated almost $4 billion in 2009 and is forecasted for strong growth in the next few years, says IMS Research.
 
So I expect to see more of this sort of thing. That’s not to say all digital signage servers are that insecure. But consider it fair warning that hackers already have those video screens in their sights, and realize that there’s much entertainment – or worse – to be had in messing with the message.
 
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