The transport system in San Francisco has been hacked. San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) was hacked last Saturday, on November 26. Thus, station gates were open non-stop. Apparently, the situation was solved, and everything managed to get back to normal very soon. Paul Rose, who is the spokesperson from Muni, argued that as far as their company was informed, nobody had to suffer because of this and there were no affected customers.
Nevertheless, he also claimed that the investigation is still open, trying to reveal exactly how an incident like that could happen. During Saturday, Muni changed the message on every ticket machine into “out of service.” Although everybody seems to be keen on using public transportation as a daily routine, there was no sign of impacts on customers.
Muni is responsible for the well-functioning of San Francisco, fuelling the traffic and getting every citizen to work, to school or everywhere else they need to go, going through the heart of the city. One of the most terrible situations for residents would be a strike which would take down the whole transport system.
However, some trustful sources have revealed that the system was hacked for several days. After tech support personnel managed to unveil the hacking message disabling it, the system of public transportation got back to normal, all ticket machines and fare gates started working properly.
During this terrible incident, the train service was not damaged at all. One of the commuters expressed his disgrace when coming to this event, arguing that nobody can feel safe anymore if hackers continue to affect core systems that paralyze the traffic. Others have wondered if the free fares were just a Black Friday discount. Apparently, the attack was more severe than it seems. Muni workers will probably not get paid this week.
Unfortunately, the internal email of the transport system was hacked too. Officials from the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority have asserted that most probably charity was not the sole purpose of the hackers, and this glitch in the system might have happened as a response to a more treacherous attack. What is more, this type of attack seems to not be the only occasion.
Back in 2008, a team of students from MIT developed a presentation teaching people how to add value their RFID-based cards. Fortunately, officials at the Def Con event managed to stop them just in time.
Image courtesy of: pixabay