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Official website of Luas hacked and a minimum of 3,226 user records got compromised

The official website of Luas got hacked, with the Irish tram operator being "held to ransom for one Bitcoin". The worth of one Bitcoin is around €3,400. Transdev, the Luas operator, said that this attack was "professional" and the site is getting analysed to find out how this attack happened.

The company said in a statement that "we have identified 3,226 user records at this point of the investigation which may have been compromised". Transdev said records of those users who signed up for Luas newsletter was compromised. The company further added that financial information had not been compromised, and they are in contact with Data Protection Commissioner.

The Luas website's homepage describes details of cyber attack. Anyone visiting the website of Luas on the morning of January 3, 2018, was greeted with a message stating: "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".

After this, Luas has itself released a statement on January 3, 2018, which said the website of Luas is down right now. They further said that only this forum (i.e. Twitter) will be used for any kind of travel updates incase the need arise in the meantime.

Later on, they appealed to the people not to visit their website as technicians are at this time working on this issue. They wrote that "due to an ongoing issue, please do not click onto the Luas website". Also for any kind of queries, they asked to contact the customer care number - 1850 300 604.

As per one Irish cybersecurity firm, ransom demand on the website of Luas is expected to be first of the many in 2019. Ronan Murphy, cybersecurity firm Smarttech247 CEO, said that though it is only 3 days into the 2019 new year but the team of Smarttech247 have already saw sharp rise in the ransomware attacks. Smarttech247 is urging the public and businesses to make sure that their computers have protection they required from increasing number of the ransomware attacks.

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