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Local radio in the US is being targeted by hackers

A strange new hacking phenomenon is gripping small community radio stations across America, as multiple reports suggest tricksters keep hijacking the airwaves to play a profanity-ridden rap song that repeats the phrase "F**k Donald Trump."

The latest victim was South Carolina's 'Sunny 1.07.9 WFBS', which was targeted on 30 January by the unknown hackers. Lead broadcasters quickly took to social media to assure listeners the song choice – which reportedly played for over 15 minutes – was unintentional.

Frank Patterson, president and majority shareholder of the station, wrote on Facebook: "Our internet has been hacked at our transmitter site and the station has played anti-Trump song. This is not our broadcast. We at WFBS do not take political views.

"We may be on or off the air while fixing, this is happening all over the country.

"Again we hold our political views to ourselves in these statements and or songs made on the air are not that of WFBS. We have captured the IP address and that will be forwarded to the government authorities."

According to the Associated Press (AP) similar incidents have occurred at stations in Seattle, Louisville and San Angelo, Texas. In another case, a video featuring the song reportedly appeared on a cable television provider in Mooresville, North Carolina.

The clip is believed to be a song by rappers YG & Nipsey Hussle aptly titled "FDT (F*** Donald Trump)." In a statement issued 24 hours after the hack occurred, Patterson added: "You folks are as mad as we are.

"Rest assured that we have taken every possible security measures to keep this from happening again. Unfortunately, this may happen again. We will try our best to keep this from occurring."

Radio hack
Sunny 107.9 hacking statement Screenshot/Facebook

In another recent case, a Kentucky-based station called Crescent Hill Radio was targeted. Staff at the small local broadcaster said the hackers likely gained access by tampering with software it uses for its FM transmissions.

"Not funny, someone has hacked into our transmitter tower, and the FM was playing an MP3 clip repeatedly of %$^# Donald Trump," the station posted to Facebook on 20 January.

Speaking to local media, programme director Gary Simpson said the rap song had played on a loop for 15 minutes before station manager Kathy Weisbach was able to intervene.

It is believed the hackers are targeting Barix Exstreamer audio devices that are installed without password protection.

"Other stations that it happened to have contacted me, and we all used the same device, and none of us had set a password to the device," Weisbach told Heat Street. "My bad, as I had done other security measures at the tower and the studio but failed to password protect this device. You can bet it is now."

Simpson said a report with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had been filed. "I want to apologise to people who might have heard it and might have been offended," he told the Courier-Journal. "We kind of feel like we're being used."

"We specifically avoid people coming on to talk about politics and religion," he added. "It's a matter of providing a community outlet for musicians and artists. It's very disheartening that someone would take the opportunity to make a political statement."