Hackers play Czechmate on TV

Artists Ztohoven air atomic bomb blast

Czech Television is recovering from a nuclear strike of sorts.

The pubcaster’s “Panorama” program, which airs live morning footage of Czech landscapes plus weather conditions, stunned audiences recently when, instead of East Bohemia’s Krkonose Mountains, they saw footage of an atomic bomb blast.

It was the work of an artists group called Ztohoven that is trying to raise skepticism about the media.

Czech TV says the feeds are supplied by external contractors and has announced it will take action against the company that allowed the group to hack into its camera cables.

The station is also attempting to sue the hackers — if those responsible for the action can be tracked down.

Ztohoven is known for its public parodies of national issues. When Czech President Vaclav Havel stepped down in 2003, Ztohoven changed an enormous neon heart that adorned Prague Castle into a question mark by covering half of it.

A member of the group said anonymously the mushroom cloud stunt was intended to show how ads “abuse our innermost desires, ideas and feelings to sell goods.”

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