Business World

Monday 21 August 2017

Free travel for passengers over Thanksgiving as hackers attack San Francisco transport system

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A major cyber attack on the San Francisco transport system resulted in free travel for passengers over Thanksgiving weekend.

The transport agency, Muni, said that it was a victim of a ransomware attack last Friday that disrupted its ticketing systems.

The cyber attack affected internal computer systems - including email - but had no reported impact on the safe operation of services.

It is understood that, during the attack, every computer had a black screen with a ransom note written across it, stating: “You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted. Contact For Key (, Enter.”

However, fare gates were disabled until Sunday "as a precaution to minimise possible impacts to our customers," a Muni spokesperson said.

In a statement given to online tech site The Verge, the hackers said: “We don’t attention to interview and propagate news ! our software working completely automatically and we don’t have targeted attack to anywhere ! SFMTA network was Very Open and 2000 Server/PC infected by software ! so we are waiting for contact any responsible person in SFMTA but i think they don’t want deal ! so we close this email tomorrow!”

Muni said on its website that "the situation is now contained and we have prioritised restoring our systems to be fully operational.

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