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Michigan Radio RDS breach

On Monday afternoon, Michigan Radio became aware that our Radio Data System (RDS) had been hacked for our WVGR (104.1 FM) and WFUM (91.1 FM) transmitter sites. RDS is a system that allows radio stations to embed digital information in their broadcasts which can be displayed on RDS equipped radios. Typical RDS data includes station identification and program information.  This security breach allowed the hacker to post unauthorized messages that were displayed on RDS equipped radios in the west Michigan and Flint areas.   

Michigan Radio took immediate steps to address this breach as soon as we became aware of it, including updating the passwords and other security settings used to access our RDS display.  We are also further encrypting our system to avoid a repeat of this incident. At this point, we have no information on who might have hacked into this system.  This incident only affected Michigan Radio’s RDS system and no other station operations or systems.   

We sincerely apologize for any inappropriate messages that may have been displayed and any confusion that this incident may have caused.   

Steve is Michigan Public's Marketing Director. His job involves coordinating the station’s marketing, communication and public relations efforts, special events, car donation program and community & media partnerships.