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Like a slow-speed chase, the San Fran hacker story is mesmerizing

What makes a good hacker story? Is it when the hacker has a much bigger impact than everybody expects? Or is it when they get caught as a result of a momumental forensic investigation? In San Francisco this week, we saw one of the more entertaining and twisting plots we’ve seen so far in hacker-land.

Initially, according to Wired Magazine, the “Transit Hacker” took control of a number of the Muni transit system’s computers, showing a message on screens saying that the system had been hacked, and demanding 100 Bitcoin in ransom to unlock them. When the transit authority couldn’t thwart the attack, they had to unlock all the turnstiles, allowing all citizens to ride the system for free. This apparently went on for two days.

The hacker has apparently said this was just a “Proof of Concept” attack, to show they could get control of the organization’s network. The implication is that a much bigger attack may be on the horizon. According to Wired, many transit systems are in a similar, vulnerable situation.

Here’s the Wired story.

But wait, there’s more!

According to Brian Krebs, the hacker may not have actually targeted the transit system. If that’s the case, he may be in for a bigger battle with law enforcement than he was expecting, given how much impact such an attack could have.

And then, it seems, the hacker’s email account was hacked by another hacker.

Even the bad guys have to worry about information security sometimes.

 

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