LA engineers hack into traffic control system

Engineers gone bad: Two LA employees turned off lights at several intersections. It took four days to get them back online.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

It's hard to explain why someone would want to hack into the Los Angeles Automated Traffic Surveillance Center, but that's just what two of the city's engineers did, causing a mild amount of havoc and thwarting work by other city engineers, reports IDG News Service

Gabriel Murillo, 37, and Kartik Patel, 34, are being charged with unauthorized access of a computer. The two men allegedly hacked in to the Los Angeles city traffic center to turn off traffic lights at four intersections last August.

The two men were able to turn off signal control boxes just hours before a job action by city engineers, the LA district attorney said. What's unclear is why they wanted to do this.

Murillo is also charged with identity theft, and Patel faces four counts of disruption or denial of computer services. Murillo and Patel barred other employees of getting access to the system in order to turn the lights back on. It took four days to fix the city's traffic control system.

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