San Francisco Transit Hacker Demanded Ransom In Bitcoin

More details are coming in on the hacking last week of San Francisco, California’s municipal railway system which shutdown the computers controlling ticket access and purchases, allowing travelers to ride for free on Friday and Saturday.

The hack only affected this part of the Muni’s (as the system is called in San Francisco) operations and authorities were quick to point out that the trains themselves, and the safety of them, was never an issue at all. It was purely about ticketing.

The hacker shut out Muni from it’s own system and ticketing employees saw on their computer screens the following message: "You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted. Contact For Key([email protected])ID:681 ,Enter." Outside of this, automated ticketing machines were all put out of order as well. It appears that the hacker shut Muni out with the aim of allowing it back in after paying a ransom.

The ransom demand was made clear when it emerged that the hacker had asked Muni for 100 Bitcoin – approximately $73,000 – in exchange for unlocking the system. Fortunately for Muni – and unfortunately for the hacker – the hacker’s own account got hacked by an anonymous researcher who found that the account has been responsible for other corporate attacks in the past.

This time though, Muni beat the hacker and managed to get its systems up and going without paying a single Bitcoin or dollar to him/her.

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