A regional transit system in California was imperiled by a hacker—or hackers—who deleted 30 million files and took the computer systems down.
The attack forced Sacramento Regional Transit to halt its operating systems that take credit card payments and assign buses and trains to routes, CBS Sacramento reported.
“We actually had the hackers get into our system, and systematically start erasing programs and data,” Deputy General Manager Mark Lonergan. Officials have alerted federal agencies.
The hacker demanded a ransom in bitcoin, leaving a message on the website: “I’m sorry to modify the home page, I’m good hacker, I just want to help you fix these vulnerability (sic).”
— Trevor Kennedy (@trevorkennedy) November 21, 2017
— 910 Intel Unit (@910_Intel_Unit) November 21, 2017
SacRT said that it managed to get through the hacking without a significant slowdown for riders. No customer or employee identities were compromised, it said.
On Sunday morning it also said, “Hello, I will always attack your website, we are hackers. we can do everything. Pay us now to stop attacking,” the Sacramento Bee reported.
SacRT didn’t respond to the demand of one bitcoin, which is worth about $8,000.
“We caught it early (Sunday) morning,” chief operating officer Mark Lonergan told the newspaper. “We took all our systems offline” and determined what data had been erased. “We are restoring everything now and bringing it up online.”
The agency was able to trace how the hackers entered the system, he said. “That is how we know no data exited,” he said. “This was about destruction.”
They’ll bring in an outside expert “to review our vulnerabilities and make this less likely to happen again,” Lonergan said.
Sac RT hit by ‘cyber ransom attack’ over weekend https://t.co/czIHa7FE2b
— CBS Sacramento CBS13 (@CBSSacramento) November 20, 2017
Hackers attack Sacramento transit system and demand $8,000 ransom https://t.co/Mf7FYJqxmF
— Ed Fletcher (@NewsFletch) November 20, 2017
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