Posted 06/11/2015 at 9:26 AM
Posted 2 years ago
One of the newest frontiers that hackers are taking advantage of can be found on most street corners and thoroughfares in this country: traffic lights.
A researcher with the Internet security firm IOActive Labs, Cesar Cerrudo, has performed a series of tests that revealed just how vulnerable traffic systems are to hacking.
One such test gave Mr. Cerrudo access to all of the lights surrounding Capitol Hill in the nation’s capital.
Mr. Cerrudo went on to say the following: “What I found is that cities are filled with security problems that could have a very direct and physical impact on our lives.”
These results and others have convinced Mr. Cerrudo to add his voice to a growing number of other security experts as well as government security officials that have come to the same conclusion: there needs to be a dedicated municipal system in place to prevent cyberattacks from causing serious harm to cities across America.
Other nations have begun to take this threat seriously and have addressed it in the form of developing and building smart cities.
For example, South Africa has committed $7.4 billion for the construction of such a city.
The threat of malicious hackers taking over traffic systems and other municipal features was once realized in 2006 when two Los Angeles traffic engineers were accused of manipulating four traffic lights without permission.
The result triggered massive amounts of gridlock affecting the Glendale Freeway as well as the entry to Los Angeles International Airport.
Despite these concerns which are shared by the administration of President Barack Obama, there has been stiff resistance thanks to the divisive partisan politics fueled efforts of Republican members of Congress which hasn’t helped convince regulators to take necessary action and research.