Russian billboard includes a “happy ending”

It seems someone hacked into one of LED billboards and added porn video clips to the rotation of advertisements. We caught a glimpse before YouTube yanked it. We’ve pixelated the shot above which already had some blackbox censorship from the OP but we assure you, it was hardcore porn.

The 9-by-6 meter billboard is in downtown Moscow. The AP is reporting that this caused something of a traffic jam and shocked passersby. We’ve seen porn before, but have to admit that even knowing what to expect in the video it was a bit shocking for us to see cars driving by a giant sex scene. This is certainly much more of a distraction than leaving clever messages on the side of the road.

Does anyone know what technology is used to update these billboards? We’re curious as to whether physical access to the unit is necessary for this kind of attack. Leave your insights in the comments.

[Thanks Sean]


  1. Nitori says:

    I figured these signs were not capable of full motion video.
    I expect we’ll see more these shenanigans in the future.

  2. SoDo120 says:

    I think most of them are connected to an access point. they put a built a wallgreens next to my house and for about a week they had all there info on there… Ip address Dns address everything scrolling.. lol too bad i dident have time to write it down while driving past

  3. Itwork4me says:

    I thought we were looking on how to do the hack. Maybe the 2600 guys know?

  4. POPSNAIL says:

    “I was at a construction site last summer that was right next to one of these LCD billboards. Which led me to make an offhand comment about hacking it for XBox360 or maybe for porn. The next day there was a camera on a boom sticking out from it facing the billboard.”

  5. Sigg3 says:

    @yaBa: Is it this one?

    Nice hack! :)

  6. PimpKittah says:

    Unlike logic they most commonly run a windows based operating system, and a sheduling software thats simply VLC with more targeted codecs like flash, cant remember what the name of the software was atm had a consulting job like this a couple of years ago.

  7. marek sokal says:

    You guys are over the top… The guy just took the dvd, ripped it, added porn in between commercials, and popped it back in. Yesh, think low tech once in a while :P ahhaha jk

  8. YaBa says:

    @Sigg3: I don’t think so.
    Someone inside told me it was an old piece of software (ms-dos/win 3.x)(the one which connects to those monochrome displays via modem)

  9. mah says:

    Shocking? HA! Hilarious is more like it. Double desu points if it had a slideshow of random stuff found in /d/ of 4chan

  10. Nick says:

    My university runs a similar set up in our cafeteria. Multiple monitors are hooked up to multiple windows’ PCs. Error messages are prevalent so I never know what we are having. Haha.

  11. Stu says:

    Oh that is just class hacking! Well done those men (surely men, right?).
    In our city, there were various places where some cylindrical billboards were put. They were POV displays spinning around the inside of the semi-xparent cylinder. All too often they showed the classic XP BSOD. Interesting they weren’t even using an up to date OS.
    I think they’ve been taken down now, too unreliable!

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  13. Chehoslow says:

    Тех кто не был в Чехии, но кому приходится по душе средневековая эпоха, мы приглашаем посетить удивительное место – ресторан Прага. Здесь вас ждут роскошные блюда, как современные, так и средневековые явства. Приходите – не пожалеете! Мы ждём Вас на нашем сайте – Заходите!

  14. Richard says:

    news article dated 19th of february says the guy behind this has been arrested. wonderful prank though!

  15. james572 says:

    Hello. And Bye.

  16. dialtone says:

    I hacked several of these in Kansas City, MO. There are access panels in the neck that has the upload port. Red Roof Inn in has recently added some and they actually leave the programming box in the neck base.

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