An I-95 Traffic Sign Got Pretty Rude About Delco Over the Weekend

A digital board positioned just before the Ridley Park exit was hacked twice on Sunday, PennDOT says.

Photo courtesy of 6ABC.

Hackers apparently reprogrammed a digital traffic sign along Interstate 95 twice on Sunday to display an obscene message that took aim at one suburban Philadelphia county, PennDOT spokesman Brad Rudolph tells Philly Mag.

Rudolph says the department of transportation’s regional Traffic Management Center was notified around 10 a.m. on Sunday that a sign just before the Ridley Park exit on I-95 southbound was flashing a vulgar message in reference to Delaware County. The board is not owned by PennDOT itself, but by one of the agency’s highway contractors.

According to Rudolph, PennDOT’s contractors are responsible for inputting the messages that alert motorists to specific roadwork conditions, exit closures, etc. The password-protected boards can be updated either remotely or manually. Officials remain unsure how the message was altered.

“We obviously take this seriously,” Rudolph says. “All contractors have specific guidelines to follow in terms of hacking/IT policies. We aren’t really sure what happened. We’re looking into the matter and asking questions ourselves.”

The sign was rebooted after the initial report, but the message soon returned. Rudolph says the board appeared to have been moved on the second instance before crews powered it down for good. PennDOT is actively searching for the culprit.