Engineers Hack into Los Angeles Traffic Signal Computer

Event Year: 2006 Reliability: Confirmed
Country: United States
Industry Type: Transportation

Two Los Angeles traffic engineers hacked into the city’s signal system causing slowing traffic as part of a labor dispute protest.  Gabriel Murillo and Kartik Patel were able to hack into the system despite the city’s efforts to block access during a labor action.  They strategically chose their targetsl.  They knew which signals would cause significant backups.  Murillo and Patel programmed signals so that red lights would be extremely long causing grid lock.  No accidents occurred. 

Murillo and Patel pleaded guilty to hacking into the city’s signal system and were sentenced to two years’ probation.  As part of their plea deal, the engineers agreed to pay $6,250 in restitution and complete 240 hour of community service.


The L.A. traffic signal system was hacked.  As a result, signals at busy intersections were programmed to remain red for an extended period causing traffic backups.  No accidents occurred.