Police in Queensland are searching for hackers who they believe infiltrated a digital billboard on a busy road and configured it to display pornography for several minutes.

The outdoor media operator goa said the billboard on Milton Road in Brisbane “began to show inappropriate content of a pornographic nature” on Sunday morning.

The transmission began at 9.23am, and remained on the large billboard for three and a half minutes, the company said.

“Within minutes of the breach occurring, our IT techs began an immediate shutdown and investigation,” goa said in a statement.

“The public transmission or proliferation of any material of a pornographic nature, is abhorrent to goa and all of our people … We regret the offence or distress that this may have caused to members of the public who evidenced this transmission. We are particularly conscious that this may have included children and adolescents,” the statement said.

The company also said it had captured “imagery of individuals” and had passed it to Queensland police, who said they were investigating.

“Police are conducting inquiries regarding possible CCTV and would encourage anyone with further information to come forward.”

Goa maintains more than 70 LED billboards across south-east Queensland. Its senior management held a crisis meeting in response to the breach, and the company has since implemented further security measures.

“As a family‐owned business that has operated in Brisbane for in excess of 50 years, no manner or format of pornography is acceptable,” goa said. “It is totally inconsistent with our company values and within our community in which we operate.

“This attack on one of our LED screens was irresponsible, deliberate and malicious. We hope that Queensland police can help bring the perpetrators to justice.”

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