Cybersecurity attacks could hit transportation infrastructure - CBS46 News

Cybersecurity attacks could hit transportation infrastructure

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Eighteen intersections on North Avenue in Midtown Atlanta are being equipped with smart technology.

The city will test self-driving cars and other "smart" technology. A City of Atlanta spokesperson tells me traffic signals will adapt in real time to hopefully reduce congestion and increase safety.

For some, this technology raises the question of cyber security for our transportation infrastructure.

"Wireless technology is very easy to snip and if encryption isn't deployed then it's very easy to pair it and attack," said cybersecurity expert and software engineer Wes Widner.

Widner says often security is looked at after there's an issue.

"So far it's been more of a pop-up game , here a problem will arise and then they'll direct a bunch of effort to it," Widner said.

The City of Atlanta says part of its test of smart technology is looking for vulnerable areas. Also the city has a robust internal system for addressing cybersecurity threats.

While many trust enough is being done to protect our infrastructure, Widner recommends you take your own precautions.

"As devices become more and more interconnected, pay attention to how you have your password set up on your phone," Widner says.

He also says smart cities could benefit from some outside security programs.

"These are programs that offer cash reward for anyone that does discover a vulnerability and discloses it to the organization so that they can fix it before it becomes a big problem," Widner says.

Widner will be among several speakers at the Edge2017 Security Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee.  The conference will be October 17-18. The convention focuses on complex business security problems and solutions.  For more on information click here.

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