I actually learned about this on Reddit just a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t heard of the Max Headroom Incident, you’re in luck because Klint Finley recounts this bizarre, but legendary hacking event over at Wired.
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Around 9 o’clock on November 22, 1989, Chicago residents witnessed this epic hack. The evening news sportscast cut out, and a person in a strange mask appeared, dancing around in front of a spinning piece of metal—a rather dark incarnation of Max Headroom, the rather inexplicable character at the heart of the British TV series Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into The Future and two subsequent TV shows. On these shows, Headroom had a tendency to interrupt the broadcasts of the fictional TV station Network 23, but this wasn’t an authorized appearance by the character. It was a real pirate transmission.
After about 30 seconds, WGN’s technicians were able to override the pirate signal.