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Security Games

Report: Watch Dogs Game May Have Influenced Highway Sign Hacking 154

An anonymous reader writes 'Earlier this month, at least three U.S. 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 Dogs 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." The signs allowed telnet and were secured 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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Report: Watch Dogs Game May Have Influenced Highway Sign Hacking

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  • And in other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @08:24PM (#47188187) Homepage

    people getting fed up with the gov are going on killing sprees. Gov at fault, let ban it.

  • by meerling ( 1487879 ) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @08:34PM (#47188225)
    I heard about road signs being reprogrammed back in the 90s. This is nothing new.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @08:36PM (#47188243) Homepage

    90% of those are called on the father by the vengeful bitch that is trying to punish the father.

  • Oh god. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <> on Saturday June 07, 2014 @08:40PM (#47188259) Homepage

    Instead of rational articles with headlines something like:

    Insecure government process allows trivial unauthorized access to road infrastructure

    We get ones focusing on how a game may have encouraged people to hack into the stuff. I don't think it'll ever end.

  • by Aqualung812 ( 959532 ) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @09:07PM (#47188381)

    Since when the fuck did the traditional pure metal signs go out of style?

    Since we figured out that electronically changing the message on a sign was MUCH more cost effective than printing a new one each time the message changed.

    "Road closed from June 1st to June 14th" Oh, shit, now we need one that says "No left turn from 8a-5p until August 1st", I guess will order a new sign...

    Also, don't discount the usefulness of re-routing traffic when there is a large planned or unplanned event, like a sports event or an Interstate closing because of a massive wreck.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07, 2014 @09:22PM (#47188409)

    No... the real solution is, quit fucking putting such high-tech god damn road signs on the highways. Since when the fuck did the traditional pure metal signs go out of style? The roadsides don't need such expensive hackable junk. In fact, if they're electronic, programmable and have giant screens of some sort, I'd have a hard time even calling them "signs" in the first place. Just go back to the basics. How hard is it to figure out?

    Ironically this is the same person who carries around a smartphone and talks shit about road signs being "expensive hackable junk".

    Yeah, speaking of going back to basics, how hard is a goddamn land line to use these days? Oh, you NEED social media in the palm of your hand? Ah, OK, yeah got it...rant on Kettle, rant on...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07, 2014 @09:36PM (#47188445)

    Why blame a game for an issue that has existed for years/decades. Security via obfuscation is not security. Obfuscation is the equivalent of hiding the key under the doormat, and hoping that nobody looks.

    The flaw is the trust in existing security. Even if it is know quite well that it is flawed, and easily broken. So what is the easiest solution? As opposed to blaming the completely open and flawed security practices that have been know to be flawed for decades, it is easier to place the blame on what has brought it into the open, than fix the actual problem itself.

    The keys to the kingdom are accessible by anybody. We just give them a weird name in hopes that nobody finds it.

  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @03:46AM (#47189225) Journal

    I don't disagree with you on the quality of the game. Unfortunately, in this case, Ubisoft are laughing all the way to the bank, because it's the fastest selling game not based on an existing IP in history and has posted the best opening weekend sales of any Ubisoft game in history. And this is despite the terrible PC port, the uPlay problems affecting all platforms, the limp plot and character designs that feel straight out of the notebook doodles of a 13 year old who still thinks wearing a trench-coat makes you cool and the laughable implementation of the core "hacking" concept.

    So sure, while it would be nice to think that Ubisoft is sitting there feeling sad and desperate, it's simply not true.

    But if you're reading this and thinking you need something shiny and new to play on your PC or new PS4/Xbox One, then be advised that the new Wolfenstein is a far better game in every respect (an actual proper shooter, rather than a 2-gun corridor game).

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone