Muni Stands Strong 

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Last weekend, San Francisco’s Municipal Railway (“Muni”) was hacked, with the hacker demanding a relatively small ransom to unlock their systems. Rather than pay, Muni opened their fare gates while they reverted to an unhacked back-up. With a daily ridership of over 600,000 people, and the fare system being offline for over a day, Muni gave away millions of dollars in rides rather than paying $73,000 in ransom. That’s a strong stance to take, one which may well prevent future hacks.

Update (November 30th, 2016): The hacker who attacked Muni’s system was subsequently hacked himself.

Update (December 4th, 2016): Friend of the site, and erstwhile mailbox pooper James G. sent me a good follow-up link for this. It looks like Muni is estimating that they gave away far less in rides than I thought. While there are some issues with the article, including the fact that gates were open on Friday too, it’s clear that the lost revenue was firmly in the low six figures. The difference is likely accounted for by many riders having monthly passes.

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