WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Drivers across the Piedmont and North Carolina may have noticed “hacked” DOT electronic billboards on Friday morning.
NCDOT spokesman Steve Abbott said officials received reports of two hacked electronic billboards in Asheville, one in Wilmington, one in Winston-Salem and one in Mount Airy were hacked early Friday morning.
In Asheville, a billboard on eastbound I-40 and another billboard on I-240 were hacked. In Winston-Salem, a billboard near Highway 421 and Jonestown Road was hacked. No additional information was provided about the digital billboard in Mount Airy.
Abbott said the Wilmington report has not been confirmed as of 2 p.m.
All five electronic billboards apparently displayed a message that read “Hacked (or Hack) by Sun Hacker.” At least one of the messages included a second line that read “Twitt with me.”
Abbott said the majority of the messages were displayed for less than 5 minutes. In Asheville, a DOT employee noticed the message and removed it shortly after it was posted.
DOT officials believe someone virtually accessed the machine that updates the digital billboards.
“We got a break that it wasn’t something obscene or political,” Abbott said. “None of the locations had emergency or heavy traffic warnings that were replaced with the hacked message.”
DOT officials are still investigating the incident.