Feeds

South African wireless traffic lights pillaged by SIM-card thieves

Don't stop at the lights unless you want free phone calls

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The Johannesburg Road Agency is in talks with suppliers to try and stop thieves targeting its shiny new traffic lights for the SIM cards they contain.

The Agency has been forking out thousands of rand on phone calls the thieves subsequently make using the snaffled SIMs.

Thulani Makhubela, spokesman for the JRA, said: “The JRA has been severely affected with this crime and this now means we have to fork out more money on something that we should not have spent a cent on.”

Makubela said the agency was now cancelling the SIMs stolen from the GPRS units inside some of the traffic lights and working with Johannesburg police to stop the traffic light thefts. Ordinary lights have not been targeted by the gangs – although there were some thefts of traffic light poles last year for their scrap value.

The spokesman said the JRA was also in talks with suppliers to make the lights' components more secure.

He told the Guardian the attacks were "systematic and co-ordinated" and thieves knew which lights to attack and "clearly have information".

Four hundred out of 600 SIM-equipped traffic lights have been hit in the last three months and it will cost R8.8m (£838,000) to replace missing components and repair them. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.