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Engineers Hacked L.A. Traffic System as Part of Labor Protest

December 04, 2009

LOS ANGELES -Engineers who hacked into the Los Angeles traffic control system to cause gridlock were sentenced to two years' probation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Traffic Engineers Gabriel Murillo and Kartik Patel were involved in a labor dispute with the city back in 2006. As part of a protest, they apparently decided it would be a good idea to make drivers lives even more frustrating than normal by creating gridlock at major intersections.

Despite the city's efforts to block access during the strike, the two managed to hack into the city's traffic control system and alter the timing of several stop lights.

According to the Times, "the engineers programmed the signals so that red lights for several days starting Aug. 21, 2006 would be extremely long on the most congested approaches to the intersections, causing gridlock. Cars backed up at Los Angeles International Airport, at a key intersection in Studio City, at access onto the clogged Glendale Freeway and throughout the streets of Little Tokyo and the L.A. Civic Center area, sources told The Times at the time. No accidents occurred as a result."

Both were sentenced to two years probation. As part of their plea, they agreed to pay $6,250 in restitution and completed 240 hours of community service, reported the Times.


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