MDOT cooperating with Michigan State Police in investigation of hacked highway message sign

Contact: Rob Morosi,

April 9, 2012 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) today confirmed that a portable message sign board along I-94 in Detroit was hacked into during the early morning hours of Monday, April 9. The portable message board, owned and operated by a subcontractor, was in place advising motorists of the active I-94/M-39 interchange project.

Michigan State Police are investigating the incident and currently have the electronic message board in their possession.

Originally displaying a "road work ahead" message, a hacker broke into the control panel and changed the advanced construction notice to a racial epithet. The portable message board was hacked into shortly after midnight (EST) but crews responded and had the message dismantled by 1 a.m.

"Everyone at MDOT is appalled by this criminal act," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "We will do everything we can to cooperate with the Michigan State Police investigation and we look forward to bringing the responsible party to justice."

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