Sign Hacked To Say "Eat My Shorts" In West Seattle

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeTransportationCyber CrimeTravelBart Simpson

It's the kind of thing that would make Bart Simpson proud.

The Seattle Department of Transportation,however, is not laughing after one of their construction signs in West Seattle was hacked to read "Eat My Shorts".

Drivers headed down Southwest Dawson Street couldn't help but check out the sign Sunday.

SDOT says this is the first time in the last three years one of their signs has been hacked.

"For us in Seattle, it's very rare," says spokesman Rick Sheridan, "all the devices are locked with either a key lock or pad lock so they're physically secured."

A crew fixed the sign late Sunday afternoon, but for a while at least, residents who live nearby loved it.

"I just thought it was absurd," says Geoffrey Garza.  "What was funny about it is, at first I was like, of course that's what it should say, than i was like wait, that traffic sign just told me to 'eat my shorts' and I just loved it, its very comical."

The trend with these kind of pranks has skewed towards zombie-related humor the last few years and there's apparently a group of hackers online who trade instructions on how to do it.

SDOT says someone has to be pretty smart to not only break through the locks, but mess with the system and coding.

Since the hacker channeled their inner Bart Simpson, a fitting punishment might be to make them write out on a chalkboard "I will not hack electronics construction signs" over and over.

But in reality, it's a crime, and depending on the charges, it could net a felony conviction and at the very least a big fine.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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