Hackers attack Sacramento public transit system, demand bitcoin ransom

By Ray Downs  |  Nov. 21, 2017 at 11:40 PM
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Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Hackers this week infiltrated the Sacramento Regional Transit system computers, erased millions of files and demanded a ransom in bitcoin.

The hack, which was noticed Sunday, affected various parts of the transit system's operating system, including its ability to process credit card payments and assign buses for routes, chief operating officer Mark Lonergan told the Sacramento Bee.

At one point, the SRT's web page was taken over with the following message: "I'm sorry to modify the home page, i'm good hacker, I just want to help you fix these vulnerability. This is one of the loopholes, modify the home page."

The attackers also sent a Facebook message to SRT that warned they will "will always attack your website, we are hackers. we can do everything. Pay us now to stop attacking."

The ransom was one bitcoin, which recently soared in value from $1,000 per coin in December to $8,000 per coin on Monday.

Ryan Eldridge, founder of computer company Nerds on Call, told CBS13-TV that the hackers didn't set uot to attack the SRT for any particular reason other than that they could.

"I would say they're probably young, because they just want to show off," Eldridge said. "The person who hacked it may have simply had an exploit that he was running in the background on his machine, and then got a hit, 'Hey [SRT] is available to be hacked.'"

SRT officials said the hack did not affect services and no customer information was stolen.

No arrests have been made in the incident.

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