Hacks on widely used traffic control gear could cause gridlock and chaos

Hacks that allow spies, villains, or terrorists to manipulate traffic signals may seem like the exclusive province of action movies, but a well-known security researcher says they're not as far-fetched as many people may think.

Cesar Cerrudo of security penetration testing firm IOActive said he has identified more than 50,000 devices in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and cities in at least seven countries around the world that can be hacked using inexpensive gear that's easy and—at least in the US—legal to obtain and operate. The equipment Cerrudo used included a drone flying at heights of 650 feet and radio hardware that sells for $100. With more sophisticated transmitters, antennas, and other hardware, he said an attacker could be as far away as two miles from the targeted signals.

In a blog post published Wednesday, he wrote:

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