Green Lights Forever: Analyzing the security of traffic infrastructure

Branden Ghena, William Beyer, Allen Hillaker, Jonathan Pevarnek, J. Alex Halderman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The safety critical nature of traffic infrastructure requires that it be secure against computer-based attacks, but this is not always the case. We investigate a networked traffic signal system currently deployed in the United States and discover a number of security flaws that exist due to systemic failures by the designers. We leverage these flaws to create attacks which gain control of the system, and we successfully demonstrate them on the deployment in coordination with authorities. Our attacks show that an adversary can control traffic infrastructure to cause disruption, degrade safety, or gain an unfair advantage. We make recommendations on how to improve existing systems and discuss the lessons learned for embedded systems security in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event8th USENIX Workshop on Offensive Technologies, WOOT 2014 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 19 2014 → …


Conference8th USENIX Workshop on Offensive Technologies, WOOT 2014
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period8/19/14 → …

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture

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