Watch Dogs Blamed For Real Life Road Sign Hacking

And so it begins. Ubisoft's new intellectual property that has managed to sell 4 million copies in one week is now at the forefront of being a possible influence to a young hacker who manipulated road signs in North Carolina.

The kid goes by the pseudonym of “The Sun Hacker” and Krebs on Security [via Slashdot] is reporting that the Arab native is one of many who have been making waves across the country with small-time hacks like the one you see in the image below, as seen on the hacker's official Twitter account.

Krebs had no words of praise for the young Arabic hacker, opting to mention the following about “The Sun Hacker” after the MS-ISAC, or the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, stepped in, with Krebs writing...

“Government reports like this one have a tendency to make these guys sound a lot scarier and skilled than they really are: Near as I can tell, Sun Hacker is an unremarkble script kiddie who enjoys defacing Web sites.”

Ohhhh, burn.

He called him a “script kiddie”. That's like owning someone in a Call of Duty match and then saying “Learn to quick-scope, kid”. That was all kinds of ownage right there.

Well, MS-ISAC doesn't feel as if this sort of thing is simple “script kiddie” shenanigans. They take this kind of stuff very seriously, with MS-ISAC issuing a protocol notice that reads...

“Investigators in one state believe the compromise may be in part due to the use of weak Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) community strings. Investigators in another state believe the malicious actor used Telnet port 23 and a simple password cracker to gain remote access. In one state the malicious actor changed the modem passwords, forcing technicians to restore to factory default settings to regain access.”

So what does this have to do with Watch Dogs? Well, apparently everything.

Ubisoft's hack-and-action title is being put front and center as an impetus for young hackers to learn the necessary skills to hack the main infrastructures of America's electronic information systems... by pressing the square button on a DualShock 4 controller, no less.

The MS-ISAC went on to state in their report that...

[This event] likely coincides with the May 27, 2014 release of the video game ‘Watch Dogs,’ in which game play revolves around ‘hacking,’ with a focus on hacking critical infrastructure-based electronic devices in particular. Watch Dogs allows players to hack electronic road signs, closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs), street lights, cell phones and other systems. On May 27, 2014, the malicious actor posted an image of the game on his Twitter feed, demonstrating his interest in the game, and the compromise of road signs occurs during game play. CIS believes it is likely that a small percentage of Watch Dog players will experiment with compromising computers and electronic systems outside of game play, and that this activity will likely affect SSLT [state, local, tribal and territorial] government systems and Department of Transportation (DOT) systems in particular.”

Man, I had no idea the square button was so powerful... or that you could apply that to real-life hacking. Such skill. Such hacks. I'm so impressed.

“The Sun Hacker” even posted photos of his exploits as if he's some kind of Edward Snowden, with a caption calling into question the security of America's electronic infrastructure, posting the following image.

Dat square button.

Hey, didn't Glenn Beck warn us about the dangers of Watch Dogs? I guess he was right... it looks like the power of the square button is a heck of a lot more dangerous than we all thought.

Some of the commenters on Slashdot joked “Well then the SOLUTION is obvious: Sell more of these type of games!”

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.