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I wonder, why noone turned off traffic lights or something like that to do mischief?

Also, why no terrorist yet used those security failures to do terror?

Once a random dude managed to log into ISS controls... Ever wondered what happens if some terrorist crash ISS into New York?

At least over here, traffic lights fail and turn off on their own, no need for hackers :) . Now, fixing them (for example setting up a "green wave"... hmm that could be a more interesting use :)


I'd like to see the local lights reprogrammed to follow the legal guidelines instead of short yellows to maximize traffic ticket revenues.

Consider yellow to mean "stop", and the length of it becomes irrelevant and the roads become a little bit safer.

For each given stop light, speed limit, and vehicle configuration, there is a rubicon that is crossed where it is impossible to stop before entering the intersection. Set up your camera and creep the yellow light time down past this limit and profits just start rolling in.

Exactly. There's uncountable number of stories easily google-able across the country where intersections with red light cameras magically coincidentally have their yellow light interval dropped by 1/4 to 1/3 vs intersections without red light cameras, to increase revenue.

You should also glance in your rear-view mirror to verify that the car behind you follows the same rule before you commit to stopping. Simple rules about traffic safety usually need a little tweaking IRL...

No. Yellow tells you to go faster.

a fellow Italian driver?

just because there is an html page being served doesn't mean you can access the control systems.

you're also assuming no one has done it - I have no idea wether or not someone has used shodan for malicious purposes, but that certainly doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

I read a novel in the late 1970s where a "hacker" breaks into a city's computer system and messes with traffic lights - does anyone remember the title? In the novel, the modified traffic light timing kills some joyriding teens who blow through an intersection counting on the light to stay green. At the climax of the book, the villain tries to kill off the protagonists by electronically locking the data center doors and triggering the CO₂ fire suppression system. Does anyone else remember this book? Was this "The Terminal Man" or am I mixing up two books?

Just in case anyone ends up here, the book I was thinking of turns out to be the rather obscure novel "Intruder" by Charbonneau from 1979.

More info on the book: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/louis-charbonneau...

I don't think you could crash the ISS into New York. I don't even think that's possible. It doesn't have the engines necessary to get back to the surface.

Getting down is way easier than getting up.

ISS has some engines, crashing on earth is very simple, you can just thrust in the opposite direction that you are going (thus falling into the planet, although slowly and probably astronauts can find the attacker and put it back into orbit before anything serious happens) or you can trust in a diagonal of sorts, to slow your speed AND toward the planet (if you just accelerate toward the planet is more probably that you will only create a elongated orbit, and if you insist, you will slingshot out of orbit).

It seems like the harder part would be hitting New York. You could crash the ISS somewhere on Earth pretty trivially, if you had the controls.

Assuming they didn't, you know, disconnect you while you were doing it. There are actual people up there; presumably they have manual overrides.

Right. I was assuming/implying a lot by saying, "if you had the controls." In the hypothetical where you have complete control of the ISS (despite manual overrides, et al), you'd still have a very hard time hitting a specific target on Earth. You could crash the thing fairly easily though. That's all I meant to say; I understand that this isn't a practical reality.

Yup, I understood. I was just adding a thought about how it was even more impractical than your comment suggested. Wasn't arguing against your point itself.

I'm not sure the ISS has enough delta-v to get back down quickly. Lowering the orbit enough so that it will fall down in a few weeks is probably possible.

It's likely that a decent orbital dynamics model and a relatively small, well-timed delta-v would bring the ISS down within a rater small planned impact area. It wouldn't be necessary to decelerate very much to accomplish that. Remember that the ISS must periodically boost its orbit to compensate for frictional losses, on that basis it can be assumed that the craft's dynamics are well-understood:


No because the ISS would burn up way before it hit the ground.

There would be debris hitting the Earth. It's too big to completely burn I think.

Perhaps, but ~70% of the Earth is empty ocean, and lots of the remainder is relatively empty landmass (huge deserts, unpopulated areas like Siberia, etc.), so just from a statistical perspective the odds of something that survives re-entry hitting a populated area without remote guidance are pretty slim.

Russia called, they said no.

Slim, not impossible.

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