Latest in Crime

Image credit:

Thieves damage South African traffic lights, reach for the juicy SIM card innards

Sean Hollister
01.16.11
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Johannesburg, South Africa had six hundred high-tech traffic signals, each with a cellular modem and GPS chip. The idea was, if one malfunctioned, they'd call home immediately. Well, that plan isn't working out so well, because only two hundred are still in working order -- vandals ripped apart the rest to get at their SIM cards, causing traffic jams and accidents. Apparently, the government-provided cards are a ticket to unlimited free phone calls for the thieves -- at least until the individual devices are identified and their permissions revoked. The Johannesburg Roads Agency told the Mail & Guardian that the crime looks like an inside job, because only the SIM-equipped signals seem to have been targeted so far, despite looking visually identical. The damages are piling up, with the agency figuring it will require ZAR 8.8 million (roughly $1.26 million) to repair the four hundred signals currently out of order. Needless to say, the agency is looking at ways to better secure the traffic lights. We're guessing that switching to CDMA is probably off the table. Embedded SIMs, perhaps?

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Neo Geo retro stick console includes 'King of Fighters,' 'Samurai Shodown'

Neo Geo retro stick console includes 'King of Fighters,' 'Samurai Shodown'

View
Watch the 'Android' Nokia phone that never had a chance to exist

Watch the 'Android' Nokia phone that never had a chance to exist

View
TiVo tries running pre-roll ads before your recorded shows

TiVo tries running pre-roll ads before your recorded shows

View
YouTube CEO apologizes for channel verification mess (updated)

YouTube CEO apologizes for channel verification mess (updated)

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr