Every now and then, you get a reminder that, yeah, what used to be the future is now your day-to-day life. For example, the idea that a bunch of hackers could knock out a major road network was pretty much science fiction… unless you’re the Israeli government. Then it happened to you last month.
Yes, hackers knocked out a road network in Israel, more specifically the Caramel Tunnels in Haifa, Israel’s third largest city and a key component in its road network. And how, precisely, did hackers shut it down?
One expert…said a Trojan horse attack targeted the security camera system in the Carmel Tunnels toll road on Sept. 8. The attack caused an immediate 20-minute lockdown of the roadway. The next day, the expert said, it shut down the roadway again during morning rush hour. It remained shut for eight hours, causing massive congestion.
Needless to say, this was a careful, coordinated attack by a governm-oh, wait, no, it’s believed to be committed by a private hacker group, not a “state actor.” In other words, some people with either a grudge against Israel or car owners decided it’d be a hoot to screw up Israel’s road network, and actually pulled it off.
And this is going to keep happening. As security experts have noted, more and more systems are both automated and remotely controlled, making them relatively easy to hack compared to a system where a human can notice something going horribly wrong. Dick Cheney, it turns out, was forward-thinking when he had the wireless controls in his pacemaker disabled for fear of terrorists.
So, essentially, at any point in time, you could be stuck in traffic for hours thanks to some teenager’s political hissy fit. Isn’t technology fun?
(image courtesy of Buzrael on Flickr)