'Go back home you IDIOTS!': Cyber renegade hacks into traffic system

‘Go back home you IDIOTS!’: Cyber renegade hacks into traffic system and changes road message to warn drivers they are ‘meant to be in lockdown’

  • Staffordshire Council investigating cyberattack on Burton-on-trent’s system
  • An electronic sign in the town read: ‘We are supposed to be in lockdown!’ 
  • After a complaint from Karen Banks on Facebook the sign displayed a response

A hacker has taken over a road traffic screen in Staffordshire, telling people to go home and reminding them ‘we are supposed to be in lockdown.’ 

Staffordshire Council and Highways England are investigating the cyberattack on Burton-on-trent’s traffic system which took place yesterday afternoon, displaying the ‘unacceptable’ messages.

One of the electronic boards told drivers to go home to the neighbouring town of Swadlincote, reading: ‘Go back to Swad you idiots. We are supposed to be in lockdown!’ 

This prompted a complaint from Karen Banks, from Swadlincote, to the Burton Life facebook group, who said the signs were ‘100% unacceptable’ before deleting her post.

Staffordshire Council are investigating the cyberattack on Burton-on-trent’s traffic system which took place yesterday afternoon, displaying the ‘unacceptable’ messages

Ms Banks wrote: ‘Lovely welcome on my way into Burton this morning (note: sarcasm). It’s getting ridiculous now and the people responsible for this should be fired immediately.

‘It’s 100% unacceptable. I’ve put my complaint in to your council’, Burton News reports.  

Later that evening the sign changed in response to Ms Bank’s complaint, reading: ‘Do you want to speak to a manager Karen?’

The sign was still displaying the message at 7:30pm yesterday, with a council source telling Burton News that action was being taken to prevent further messages appearing from the hacker. 

Karen Banks, from Swadlincote, wrote a complaint in the Burton Life facebook group, calling the signs ‘100% unacceptable’

Later that evening the sign changed in response to Ms Bank’s complaint, reading: ‘Do you want to speak to a manager Karen?’

MailOnline has contacted Staffordshire County Council for comment.

Social media users were quick to praise the hacker behind the signs on a local facebook group, suggesting they should be given a job at the council. 

Chloe Beth Mayne wrote: ‘Not all heroes wear capes, some change street signs.’ 

Ruth Bowman wrote: ‘I actually think it will do the highways a favour. The majority of people drive past these signs barely glancing at them…at least now people will be actually looking at them for messages, proposals etc lol’. 

Ian Inchley wrote: ‘If and when you do find this despicable hacker, offer them a job and nominate them for a Nobel Prize! It’s about time the signs were actually informative!’

While Karen Payne, responding to the complaint made by Ms Banks, added: ‘She didn’t do us Karen’s any favours there.’

Beckie Moran wrote: ‘No comments on what the lady had said but I must admit I don’t like the way one name has started being used as a description for a nasty person generally.

‘That sign’s great, we all need a laugh. Hopefully she is feeling less Grumpy today.’

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