Sign hacked twice in Springetts: zombie warning and vulgarity

Jana Benscoter
York Dispatch
Springettsbury Township Police Department posted to its Facebook page an image of a hacked sign in its jurisdiction warning motorists about "zombies."
  • A lock has since been placed on it, confirmed PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny.

Despite what you might have read, there are no zombies ahead, and there is no reason to run.

An electronic road sign on East Market Street in Springettsbury Township cautioning motorists of roadwork ahead was hacked Thursday, May 17, to instead caution them about the walking dead:

“Zombies Ahead!! Run!!!!”

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Greg Penny said the sign doesn't belong to the department and instead is the responsibility of the contractor, Kinsley Construction, or one of its subcontractors.

He said he also was informed of another hack that was less frightening and significantly more vulgar.

“A person took a picture and sent it to our construction people,” Penny said. “They took care of it.”

A lock has since been placed on the sign, he confirmed. 

"Facebook took off like a wildfire," Penny said. "It can prompt action or reaction before we get hold of the responsible parties. That was an eye-opener reminder to me of how powerful social media can be.”

Vulgar messages, he said, are obviously not allowed on message signs. Others who have become "overzealous," who have changed public signs to read "Go Pennsylvania" or "Go Notre Dame," and even "Happy Birthday" to a girlfriend, can receive a severe reprimand or job termination, he said. 

The first sign hack discovered by Springettsbury Township Police, which warned motorists of zombies, was noticed at 4:58 p.m. near East Market Street and Mount Zion Road.

"We hope there was no public alarm today as there were no reports of Zombies anywhere in Springettsbury Township,” Springettsbury police wrote on their Facebook page.