Drivers using one of Brisbane, Australia’s busiest roads over the weekend were left gobsmacked by a huge billboard displaying the home page of a porn website.
The crude scene on Milton Road was visible for more than three minutes on Sunday morning before being shut down by the owner of the billboard.
Cyber-hackers have been blamed for the rogue display, with the company saying it has handed over footage and images of individuals to police.
The billboard operates on a road travelled by parents dropping children at nearby Milton State School.
“At 9.23am [Sunday] morning, a single digital LED screen began to show inappropriate content of a pornographic nature,” the company said in a statement.
“The transmission of this material ran for between a number of seconds and up to 3½ minutes.”
No other goa billboards were affected by the breach, nor was the company’s security system, the company said.
The police, according to goa managing director Chris Tyquin, were treating the incident as a “serious matter”.
Mr Tyquin said the company had not received any threats and it was currently unaware of the hackers’ motives.
He added the company regretted the display may have been offensive and distressing to members of the public, particularly children.
“As a family-owned business that has operated in Brisbane for in excess of 50 years, no manner or format of pornography is acceptable,” the company said.
“This attack on one of our LED screens was irresponsible, deliberate and malicious We
hope that Queensland Police can help bring the perpetrators to justice
“A crisis meeting involving senior management and relevant staff began immediately
as we became aware of this breach and is focused on the security across our entire
network. Further security measures began to be implemented last night.
“All other screens have been reconfirmed to be physically intact. Further, all
monitoring equipment of each site are working to expectations.”
An image of the billboard was shared to social media on Monday morning where it has since attracted a huge reaction.
Respondents were particularly concerned by the glaring cybersecurity issues in Australia, given recent major data breaches at Optus and Medibank.
“It’s genuinely depressing how bad data security is, even at the companies that try to do it right,” one person responded.
“People should not be subjected to seeing porn without their consent. If you walked up to a kid at the bus stop down from this billboard and showed them the same image you would be up for pedo charges, this is no different. I hope they are found and charged,” another said.
“I don’t think it’s funny to put porn up there – and quite dumb as well, as they’re now doubly offending. At least for the hack you can claim ‘ethical hacking’ and *maybe* get away with it when found out. For putting porn on a billboard, you might be in less easily avoidable trouble,” a third wrote.