10 Times Hackers Hacked Live Television

Captain Midnight’s Galactic Protest: 1986

In the spring of 1986, the HBO satellite signal was disrupted by a figure donning a Max Headroom mask during a broadcast of “The Falcon and the Snowman.” 

The Max Headroom Incident: 1987

Continuing the saga of the enigmatic Max Headroom mask, another hacker managed to infiltrate the Chicago airwaves in 1987.  

The BBC Newsnight Hijack: 1987

In a bold move, hackers infiltrated the BBC Newsnight broadcast in 1987, protesting the media’s portrayal of the Zircon spy satellite.  

Southern Television’s Alien Message: 1977

In the winter of 1977, viewers tuning in to the Southern Television broadcast in the UK were treated to an otherworldly message.  

The Weather Channel Hack: 1986

Not even the calming presence of weather updates could escape the reach of hackers.  

Adult Swim’s ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force’ Promotion: 2007

In a bizarre case of guerrilla marketing gone awry, a publicity stunt for the animated show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” sparked panic in Boston in 2007. 

The Vrillon Incident: 1977

In 1977, the calm UK evening news was interrupted by Vrillon, who claimed to represent the Ashtar Galactic Command.

The TV5Monde Cyberattack: 2015

In a more sophisticated era of cyber intrusions, the TV5Monde network fell victim to a crippling attack in 2015. 

The Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show: 2004

At Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, Justin Timberlake accidentally exposed Janet Jackson's breast during their halftime show performance.

PBS NewsHour’s Bitcoin Heist: 2013

In 2013, PBS NewsHour's Twitter was hacked, falsely claiming Tupac Shakur was alive in New Zealand.