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Experts urge better protection of traffic cameras from hackers

January 14, 2014, 19:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Experts have called for tighter control of security requirements for traffic cameras operated by road police, following a hacker attack which disabled surveillance equipment across the Moscow region.

"Wrongdoers are capable of turning off the traffic cameras, as happened in the Moscow region, and falsifying recordings," said experts of the Informzashchita company specializing in information security at infrastructure facilities.

"An infected flash memory stick brought by an employee might provoke a virus attack causing as much damage as a goal-oriented attack," head of Informzashchita's security analysis department Kirill Yevtushenko told Itar-Tass.

Widows XP 2009 security mechanisms are inferior to later releases, Yevtushenko said noting the necessity of a particular careful approach to updates and protection software.

In a goal-oriented attack, a hacker needs access to just one workplace from which the traffic monitoring system can be monitored.

"Another option is to slice into the system via the Internet," he said. "In theory, one person can break into the system in a relatively short time, switching off cameras and generating a stream of false reports on traffic rules violations, which will have a negative impact on citizens and disrupt police work in imposing penalties."

The latest breakdown of the traffic monitoring system is indicative of systemic problems in information security both on the part of the customer and the contractor and the organization responsible for maintenance, Yevtushenko said.

Earlier this month, an unidentified computer virus disabled some 140 traffic monitoring sets across the Moscow region. Police said this equipment recorded four million traffic rules violations in the past two months with the sum of fines reaching more than 800 million roubles.

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