Lorton drivers got quite a surprise when an electronic road sign was hacked recently. On Lorton Road by Route 123, the road is closed, but where the sign should have read “Road Closed,” instead it read “Zombies Ahead”.
“I had to do a double take when I saw the sign, but in the end it was really funny,” said local driver Rusty Bonifant.
This sign hacking is only the newest event in a string of recent sign hackings across the nation. Nobody seems to know who is responsible or why they are doing this.
“Being in construction, I know that those signs are controlled electronically and the system to change the text is padlocked so only the worker with the key should have access. A hacker has to be very determined to break into it and change the sign text,” said Bonifant.
Other states who have dealt with these zombie sign hackings have speculated that the signs were inspired by the video game Call of Duty 5, World at War which features "nazi zombies," or a movie about zombies called "Dead Snow" (an official selection at Sundance '09). There are also several online sites that teach people how to break into these construction signs.
One theory is that these zombie-related sign messages could be a way to promote an upcoming 5K Zombie run called Run for Your Lives that travels from state to state. The next race is scheduled for October in Maryland and runners pay $77 to run a 12-obstacle race while people dressed as zombies chase them. At the end of the race, runners and spectators celebrate with live entertainment, music, local celebrities, vendors, food, and beer.
Run for Your Lives will donate a portion of every ticket sold to the American Red Cross. Check out the Red Cross to learn more about how you can support them. For further information on the zombie run or to register, visit http://runforyourlives.com.