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STL Hack Airs Anti-Trump Song

LPFM in Louisville is among those affected

Multiple radio stations apparently were hacked on inauguration day, with the result that anti-Donald Trump messages were aired — perhaps another instance of savvy hackers finding their way around weak or default password protections.

Low-power FM station WCHQ in Louisville, Ky., was among the victims. According to the local newspaper the Courier-Journal, the station was attacked Friday afternoon and then posted on its Facebook page, “Someone has hacked into our transmitter tower, and the FM was playing a mp3 clip repeatedly of %$^# Donald Trump.” The newspaper reported that an anti-Trump rap song played in a loop for 15 minutes. The station PD apologized.

Station Manager Kathy Weisbach told Radio World today that the hack was against the station’s Barix Exstreamer, which is used as a studio-transmitter link. “Many other stations in the country had the same thing happen at the same time,” she said. (The local newspaper reported that the hack was through emergency alerting software, but Weisbach said this was incorrect.)

An on-air post purports to show another LPFM, this one in Texas, also being hit (video here).

An incident along these lines last spring, also involving a Barix device, grabbed attention within broadcast circles. Broadcast engineers said then that stations would be wise to change passwords often and to use unique characters and numbers.