Earlier this year, citizens in Hawaii experienced a false missile attack alert resulting from employee error. The potential for similar incidents caused by hackers in so-called “smart cities” has been identified by researchers at IBM X-Force Red and cybersecurity firm Threatware. Smart cities, including New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina and Kansas City, Missouri use connected systems to operate municipal resources like traffic control and transportation, surveillance and to detect natural disasters.
Among the vulnerabilities the researchers identified were the use of default passwords and networks being exposed online. Potential hacking could cause traffic jams, false disaster alerts and hijacking surveillance systems. Each of the companies involved in providing the technology, Echelon, Battelle and Libelium have stated that the vulnerabilities have already addressed or are being dealt with.
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