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Two charged with hacking LA traffic lights

Disruption occurred just before August job action

By Robert McMillan
January 10, 2007 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - Two men have been charged with illegal computer access after they allegedly hacked into the Los Angeles city traffic center to turn off traffic lights at four intersections last August.

The two men, both engineers with the city's Automated Traffic Surveillance Center, accessed city computers on the morning of Aug. 21, and were able to turn off signal control boxes just hours before a job action by city engineers, the Los Angeles district attorney said in a statement released late last week.

The accused were able to bar other city employees from accessing the computer system to put the lights back online. No accidents were reported, but it took four days to fix the city's traffic control system, the statement said.

Gabriel Murillo, 37, and Kartik Patel, 34, are both charged with unauthorized access of a computer. Murillo is also charged with identity theft, and Patel faces four counts of disruption or denial of computer services.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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