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Weekend Muni Breach Depicts We All can be Affected of Cyber-Security

Late past week, a ransomware assault struck SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) wherein a message flashed on the screens of systems at the station terminals saying they were hacked with their entire data encrypted. As it happened after that the miscreant responsible for the attack himself got hacked leading to revelations of details regarding other targets who were victimized while luring evidences regarding his location along with identity.

Actually during Friday-Sunday of the week of 21st, PCs at Muni Transportation System contracted a ransomware infection. Consequently, the payroll and e-mail servers of Muni were affected. Muni officials, on first noting the assault, locked the gates of ticket fares for the Muni Metro service in open position so that customers did not have to pay fares for their rides all through Friday night continuing to Saturday.

Using an e-mail id which was used in earlier ransomware attacks too, the hackers held the Muni computers to a ransom of some $70,000 worth Bitcoins.

However, Muni dismissed making the ransom payment, while various reasons point to the fact that no highly professional hacker was involved. Although the Muni hackers asserted they hacked one Windows 2000 system of the transportation system, as well as the bitcoin ransom, which apparently was for steering charities to, consisted of not even $2, both the assertions seem dubious. Sfchronicle.com posted this, November 28, 2016.

Previously during 2016, the cyber-crime division of FBI released a statement cautioning victims not to succumb to hackers' demand and pay ransoms for restoring their data because by making such payments, they would not just embolden existing Internet crooks to attack further entities, but also encourage other crooks towards imitating them in such illegal activity.

According to James Trainor Assistant Director of FBI Cyber Division, making such ransom payments didn't make it certain that the victim organization would revive its lost data -there had been instances when organizations didn't at all get a decryption code even when they paid.

Of minimum, Muni fared well over the attacker in the current instance, because it didn't drop even one bitcoin apparently getting an upper hand over the situation.

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