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Karl Wabst

Engineers who hacked into L.A. traffic signal computer, jamming streets, sentenced | L.... - 0 views

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    "Two L.A. traffic engineers who pleaded guilty to hacking into the city's signal system and slowing traffic at key intersections as part of a labor protest have been sentenced to two years' probation.

    Authorities said that Gabriel Murillo, 40, and Kartik Patel, 37, hacked into the system in 2006 despite the city's efforts to block access during a labor action.

    Fearful that the strikers could wreak havoc, the city temporarily blocked all engineers from access to the computer that controls traffic signals.

    But authorities said Patel and Murillo found a way in and picked their targets with care -- intersections they knew would cause significant backups because they were close to freeways and major destinations.

    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.

    As part of their plea deal, the engineers agreed to pay $6,250 in restitution and completed 240 hours of community service."
Karl Wabst

PCI QSA assurance program penalizes assessors - 0 views

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    Two firms certified to asses a company's compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) have been placed under remediation by the PCI Security Standards Council.

    Two firms certified to asses a company's compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) have been placed under remediation by the PCI Security Standards Council.

    "We have a contractual relationship with the PCI Security Standards Council and they can pull our certification at any time," Bates said, adding that the firm is working wholeheartedly to remedy the situation.

    Chris Konrad, senior vice president of client services at Fortrex, did not return a phone call seeking comment. Fortrex's business is U.S-based. The company is in its sixth year assessing service providers and merchants. In addition to being certified to conduct payment application quality security assessments, the firm sells risk management consulting services. It is a reseller in security vendor Qualys Inc.'s PCI Partner Program, according to the company website. Qualys said its "program gives partners generous margins based on their level of certification."

    The PCI Council launched its quality assurance program for assessors in September to address growing concerns from merchants about the quality of their assessments and other issues. Merchants have complained that some QSAs don't appear to have the technical skills necessary to conduct a thorough assessment. Other merchants have raised issues with QSA's pitching security products during the assessment process.

    Merchants that receive negative feedback are placed on probation and a revocation process is in place if assessors do not address the issues identified by the council.

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