This article discusses whether it is possible for a hacker to take over traffic lights in a city in order to reap havac, whether it is creating gridlock or causing accidents. It is important to note that cyberattacks which are done by hackers are considered to be the greatest threat to U.S. national security, and this can involve more than just government intelligence. The ability for a hacker to hack into the traffic signal system would have major consequences such as hindering the ability of police, ambulances, and firefighters from getting to where they need to be, which can be disastrous.
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According to the article, it is possible for the traffic light system to be hacked. This is because a few years ago in Los Angeles two traffic engineers hacked into the city’s signal system and were able to slow traffic at specific intersections. They did this by programming the lights to stay red for long periods of time. In addition, a man named Cesar Cerrudo, who is the chief technology officer of IOActive Labs, was able to access traffic data in Washington DC while simply walking the streets. Cerrudo discovered that he could change the speed limit on electronic speed-limit signs or even change the traffic signals on ramps to “go” early. Now Cerrudo did not hack into the District’s signal network itself, but rather he hacked into the devices that are used within it. This discovery is serious because it shows how vulnerable the traffic system is. Thus, it is possible for terrorist attacks on specific traffic intersections in cities that are heavily traveled in which they could create gridlock or cause serious accidents while at the same time hindering the ability for law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical vehicles from getting to were they need to go.
This can lead death, personal and property damage, and ease the ability for crime to occur. Overall, it is clear that it is possible for traffic signals to be hacked leading to the possibility of serious and horrific consequences due to the vulnerability of the traffic signal system established in cities, thus it is necessary to improve the security of this system to reduce the ability for hackers to hack into it.
Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/could-a- hacker-gain- control-of- dcs-traffic system/2015/08/08/7cb7cf94-201a- 11e5-bf41- c23f5d3face1_story.html