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Anchor Lead: If you think traffic is bad now, consider this…in a new paper, researchers show that it’s pretty simple to hack into traffic light systems and cause major havoc.
Randy Atkins: It started as a class project. Branden Ghena and some fellow engineering students at the University of Michigan were given permission by a local road agency to look for vulnerabilities in traffic signals.
Branden Ghena: This network is all wireless, a bunch of radios connected together.
Randy Atkins: So they get a radio from the same vendor and…
Branden Ghena: …it immediately connects and we can plug in our laptop to that radio and get onto the network no problem.
Randy Atkins: It wasn’t even encrypted. Ghena says he could command traffic light controllers throughout the city and that the situation would be similar in most of the U-S. He’s published engineering solutions and hopes those responsible will…
Branden Ghena: …start actually fixing their system, and making sure security is one of their top design concerns.