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Hacking Traffic Lights Is Apparently Really Easy

20 Aug
Hacking Traffic Lights Is Apparently Really Easy

TIME

In the 1969 classic The Italian Job, Michael Caine and crew commit a major gold heist by hacking into the traffic light system of Turin, Italy, to cause a massive traffic jam, giving the robbers a perfectly synced path to escape through the gridlock.

As it turns out, this piece of high-action Hollywood theatrics is not merely screenwriter fantasy. According to cyber security researchers at the University of Michigan, pulling off a caper like that wouldn’t even be difficult today.

“Our attacks show that an adversary can control traffic infrastructure to cause disruption, degrade safety, or gain an unfair advantage,” writes the research team led by computer scientist J. Alex Halderman.

“With the appropriate hardware and a little effort, [a hacker] can execute a denial of service attack to cripple the flow of traffic in a city, cause congestion at intersections by modifying light timings, or even take control…

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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in General News

 

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