According to radiomagazineonline.com, 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 says 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 a report by Heat Street, Crescent Hill Radio WCHQ 100.9 FM in
Louisville, KY 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.