Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

After 'Godzilla Attack!' US warns about traffic-sign hackers

Published on Jun 7, 2014 6:37 AM

BOSTON (REUTERS) - After hackers played several high-profile pranks with traffic signs, including warning San Francisco drivers of a Godzilla attack, the US government advised operators of electronic highway signs to take "defensive measures" to tighten security.

Last month, signs on San Francisco's Van Ness Ave were photographed flashing "Godzilla Attack! Turn Back" and highway signs across North Carolina were tampered with last week to read "Hack by Sun Hacker." The Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, or ICS-CERT, this week advised cities, highway operators and other customers of digital-sign maker Daktronics Inc to take "defensive measures" to minimize the possibility of similar attacks.

It said that information had been posted on the Internet advising hackers how to access those systems using default passwords coded into the company's software. "ICS-CERT recommends entities review sign messaging, update access credentials and harden communication paths to the signs,"the agency said in an alert posted on Thursday.

Jody Huntimer, a representative for Daktronics, declined to say if the recent attacks involved the bug reported by ICS-CERT. "We are working with the ICS-CERT team to clarify the current alert and will release a statement once we have assessed the situation and developed customer recommendations," Huntimer said via email.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!