Attention, East Village Drivers: “Party At Julie's”

Hackers change signs alerting motorists to construction

Pranksters hacked into those portable electronic signs meant to warn drivers of construction projects in the East Village over the weekend.

Instead of telling drivers to use caution, the signs displayed messages such as "New York Is Dying" or "Party at Julie's."

Assistant commissioner for the Department of Design and Construction Matthew Monahan is furious, telling the New York Post, "It is wrong. It could pose a dangerous distraction for drivers, for pedestrians, for everyone."

New York is not the first to be targeted with the prank. Cities in Illinois, Texas and Indiana also had traffic signs tampered with after Web sites began posting step-by-step instructions on how to change the wording.

Far from today's sophisticated cyberspace hacking, all that's needed to change the message is a screwdriver to break into the back keypad. The DCC is now taking extra precautions to keep wanna-be ghostwriters from future tampering by removing the keypads and keeping a closer eye on the signs.

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