Just imagine you are traveling to your office and on your way you didn’t get any traffic light. Well, this is absolutely possible if you know how to hack traffic lights. According to recent research by University of Michigan, it is extremely simple to hack wireless traffic light systems without any particular knowledge. All you need to have is a little bit of programming skills, interest in cybercrime and a laptop.
In the study, the involved members at University of Michigan identified three prime weaknesses in the national traffic control systems that make the signal vulnerable. It is easy to hack traffic lights due to:
- Unencrypted wireless signals used to manage the lights
- The regular use of default password and username
- A vulnerable port
The traffic light system is so vulnerable that the researchers at the University of Michigan were able to take the control of the lights without any complication. And the only thing the researchers used to hack the system is a laptop equipped with wireless card operating having same frequency as of the wirelessly connected lights. Once the researchers were able to get an entry in the system, they used some simple commands to change the time frequency of traffic lights. Also, they manipulated lights with the colors of the lights. They turned all the lights in a specific direction to green, which otherwise requires physical access to change.
In order to conduct the research, the members joined hands with a local Michigan road agency. In their settlement, the researchers got the permission to hack as many as 100 wirelessly networked traffic lights.