Electronic Billboards Susceptible to Hacking

March 14, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

When the advertising world replaced the old printed billboards with LCD and LED units that can change the ads without much hassle they must not have bargained for this.

It appears now that the LCD and LED boards are as susceptible to hacking as your PC, going by what happened to a billboard in Serbia recently.

The billboard, placed at Republic Square in the center of Belgrade, catches the eye of every passerby. On display now is the logo of The Pirate Bay, with peace symbol Gandhi’s quote which reads: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”


This isn’t the work of some Pirate Bay fan or some frustrated computer genius, but a group of computer science students. This is their way of showing how weak the security system of the IT field is.

At a time when technology comes at the snap of our fingers, anyone with a basic computer knowledge can learn simple hacking protocols easily enough. Which is why there is the need for a higher level of security!

According to the student hackers, Pirate Bay is an “apolitical independent worldwide organization”, which is against censorship and believes in free speech. The Pirate Bay advertisement wasn’t their only handiwork.

They used a smartphone as a controller and played Space Invaders on the billboard, and also displayed a banner that read “hacking4fun”. Belgrade is Serbia’s capital, as well as the country’s largest city, which is why the hacking incident caught many an eye.

The Serbian media said that Anonymous was responsible for the incident, even though the students denied they were part of that group. Click on this link to watch a video of the students at work.

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