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Luas website hack 'likely first of many in 2019', security experts warn



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Security experts are urging businesses and the public to ensure their computers are protected, after news of the official Luas website being hacked broke this morning.

The tram operator was being "held to ransom for one Bitcoin" in a note on their website. 

The hacker has claimed to have breached security and has threatened to publish "all data" if the ransom is not paid in five days.

CEO of cybersecurity firm Smarttech 247, Ronan Murphy, said that an increase in ransomware attacks has been noticed by security experts, just days into 2019.


Collision between pedestrian and Luas

Collision between pedestrian and Luas

“Although it’s only three days into the new year Smarttech247 team have already seen a sharp rise in ransomware attacks,” he said.

“These are primarily spreading via email where they appear to be a Microsoft document (word, excel). 

“The Ransomware will attack any server or computer which does not have adequate protection, and this includes web servers that host websites and applications.”

A message on the Luas website this morning reads;

"You are hacked... some time ago i wrote that you have serious security holes... you didn't reply... the next time someone talks to you, press the reply button... you must pay 1 bitcoin in 5 days... otherwise I will publish all data and send emails to your users."

In a statement this afternoon, Luas confirmed that their website had been "compromised" and that they have technicians currently working on the issue.

They said they will only be using Twitter for any travel updates in the meantime.

"The Luas website was compromised this morning , and a malicious message was put on the home page," the spokesperson said.

"The website has been taken down  by the IT company who manage it, and their technicians are working on it. Luas are informed this may take the day to resolve."

They previously appealed for people to avoid the website as technicians work on the issue.

"Due to an ongoing issue, please do not click onto the Luas website," they wrote.

"We currently have technicians working on the issue. We will be using this forum only for travel updates should the need arise. For any queries, please contact our customer care number on 1850 300 604."

One Bitcoin is worth around €3,382.

Online Editors