Metro, tram and bus ticket machines in San Francisco were blocked. For 24 hours, transport was made free.
Piracy at the scale of a city. The Californian transport company, known as Muni, was charged Saturday (November 26th) with an attack on its reservation system, reports the SFGate, through a ransomware, a type of malicious software Which locks access to infected computer data. It is impossible for 24 hours to order bus, metro and tram tickets from various distributors throughout the city.
On the screen of these, a single message – “You hacked, ALL data encrypted” – followed by an e-mail address to retrieve all of this information. A ransom of 73,000 bitcoins, equivalent to 50 million euros, has been claimed for a return to normal. While waiting for a satisfactory solution, the Muni had no choice but to let its customers travel without a ticket. It is the seventh largest public transport company in the United States.
The hypothesis of internal piracy
The San Francisco transportation company has so far refused to pay any ransom. The servers used to save their data were spared by the attack and allowed to redeploy all this information on the network as of Sunday morning. One chance, given the scale of the attack: out of 8656 computers on the network, 2122 were infected by the ransom software, according to information transmitted by hackers.
Contacted by Hoodline, cybersecurity researcher Mike Grover believes that the ransom could have been broadcast from a network administrator’s computer by sending a phishing e-mail to retrieve his password. This cybercriminal process consists in posing as a trusted third party (bank, telecom operator or even large commercial company), in order to push the user to connect to a dummy site and to expose his personal data.
In February, the computer network of a California hospital, the Hollywood Presbytarian Medical Center, was paralyzed for a week. The institution had to pay a ransom of $ 17,000 for the recovery of particularly sensitive data, including admission cards or medical files.