A teenage boy who hacked into a Polish tram system used it like "a giant train set", causing chaos and derailing four vehicles.

The 14-year-old, described by his teachers as a model pupil and an electronics "genius", adapted a television remote control so it could change track points in the city of Lodz.

Just how secure are all these systems then?

5 thoughts on “Hmmmm.”

  1. “The first sign of the chaos came on Tuesday afternoon, when a city tram driver tried to steer his vehicle to the right, but found himself helpless to stop it swerving to the left instead.”

    nice to see the Telegraph living up to its normal high standards of journalism.

  2. By repute, not.

    There is much research going on about the vulnerabilities of SCADA controlled systems. Connecting systems to the internet (or to an openly accessible modem) when you are not certain of the levels of risk involved is stupid.

    As are many, many people in positions to make such decisions.

  3. this is not a modem/internet hack though – rather he’s overridden the control system for individual switches (the high-tech equivalent of someone manually using a lever on-site to switch the points and derail the train while the signaller still believes everything’s set correctly)

  4. There are trillions of vulnerabilities in systems, from throwing stuff on train lines to hacking control systems.
    Arson is a particular vulnerability, so is berating with a blunt instrument – most all systems can be set on fire or smashed up.
    It is difficult to imagine a society that does not depend on most of us not being vandals most of the time.
    As a teenager I once opened both sluices (by hand, without a crank) on a canal lock. This emptied the higher pound and flooded the lower one – sadly, I am chucking still as I am reminded of it.
    All windows are particularly vulnerable, as are all flammable things etc etc etc.

  5. John B’s got it right.

    The boy didn’t hack into anything, he simply interfered with the final action output of the control system – a relay or something like one.

    He’s found a vulnerability nobody had thought of till then.

    A bit of screening should do the trick nicely.

    The State response, no doubt, will be to ban TV remotes, or search everyone for them at airports, or something.

    Better stop now, before I give the bastards any ideas.

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