D�BENDORF, Switzerland � A series of hackings have occurred at a number of low powered radio stations across the country over the last couple of weeks, playing the YG and Nipsey Hussle song �F*** Donald Trump.� Stations in Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana and South Carolina have all been hacked since President Trump�s inauguration on Jan. 20. The common theme for all these stations appears to be the use of Barix Exstreamer line products.
The Exstreamer device from Barix is described as a simple internet-connected antenna that isn�t secured by default. This is in fact the second hacking incident that has occurred to stations using the Barix equipment in the last year, with a previous incident occurring in April 2016.
Following the incident, Barix issued a press release in which it pushed its users to take the appropriate security measures:
�Barix would like to emphasize that its devices are secure for broadcast use when set up correctly and protected with a strong password� We recommend that our customers: 1. Immediately change the password of their devices to use the full 24 characters. 2. Review their network security; no device should be openly connected to the Internet. All devices should be secured behind firewalls, or connected using a VPN.�
Barix also said in its press release last April that it had partnered with StreamGuys to offer its Reflector service for broadcasters to allow audio to be sent over public internet without exposing the devices to attacks.
When reached for comment about these most recent incidents, Barix said that its response to last April�s hacks still applied.
However, it appears that the stations that were hacked these last few weeks did not follow Barix�s instructions. According to areportby Heat Street, Crescent Hill Radio WCHQ 100.9 FM in Kentucky had no set password for the device. Crescent Hill�s founder and president Kathy Weisbach said other hacked stations that contacted her did not have a set password either.
In addition to Crescent Hill Radio, stations that have confirmed hacking in recent weeks include 107.9 WFBS(FM) in South Carolina.; 100.5 KCGF(LP) in Texas;W244CW�El Jefe 96.7 in Tennessee; and Mother of the Redeemer Radio WIAH(LP) in Indiana. A pirate station in Seattle has also played the YG and Nipsey Hussle song on a loop the last few weeks, but that is believed to be purposeful and not a result of a hack.
NAB Pilot also tweeted a link to its cybersecurity portalas reminder to members that stations must take precautions.