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Report: Watch Dogs Game May Have Influence Highway Sign Hacking

Anonymous Coward writes | about 2 months ago

1

An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this month, at least three US states reported that a hacker had broken into electronic road signs above major highways, with the hacker leaving messages for people to follow him on Twitter. The Multi-State Information Sharing an Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) produced an intelligence report blaming a Saudi Arabian hacker that the organization says likely got the idea from Watch Dogs, a new video in which game play revolves around ‘hacking,’ with a focus on hacking critical infrastructure-based electronic devices in particular. "Watch Dogs allows players to hack electronic road signs, closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs), street lights, cell phones and other systems. On May 27, 2014, the malicious actor posted an image of the game on his Twitter feed, demonstrating his interest in the game, and the compromise of road signs occurs during game play. CIS believes it is likely that a small percentage of Watch Dog players will experiment with compromising computers and electronic systems outside of game play, and that this activity will likely affect SSLT [state, local, tribal and territorial] government systems and Department of Transportation (DOT) systems in particular.” Nevermind that, as the report notes, the hacker likely broke in because the signs allowed telnet and were secure with weak or default passwords. The report came out on the same day that The Homeland Security Department cautioned transportation operators about a security hole in some electronic freeway billboards that could let hackers display bogus warnings to drivers."

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Possible motive? (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about 2 months ago | (#47187189)

From TFA:

The hack in California involved a privately-owned sign that was being used to control traffic associated with an annual running event called Bay to Breakers, officials with the state of California said.

Bay to Breakers is traditionally known for nudity on the part of quite a few runners. Lately the city has been trying to put a stop to it, and I'm guessing the hacked text on the sign expressed an opinion of that policy...

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