San Francisco Municipal Railway System Held Hostage by Hackers

By | Nov 28, 2016 06:45 PM EST

An out of service sign is posted on a pay gate at the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Millbrae station in Millbrae, California. (Photo : Getty Images/Justin Sullivan )

Commuters of the San Francisco Municipal Railway got a surprise this weekend when the system's computerized fare system was breached and held hostage by hackers. The operator of the public railway system said that the hack took place on Friday afternoon.

Riders of the municipal railway system received a "Metro Free" and "Out of Service" signs on ticket machines, according to The Verge. The hack went on until Saturday. 

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Reports indicate that some computer screens at some MUNI stations showed a message that reads "You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted. Contact for Key( ,Enter."

It was later reported that the perpetrator of the hack was looking for a deal with MUNI to fix the damage. No confirmations were made whether the San Francisco Municipal Railway paid that required ransom to free their systems from the hack.

The San Francisco municipal transportation agency is yet to release the details of the hack. There are reports that the hack will also affect employees with some workers not sure whether they will be paid this week since their computer systems are down, according to Kotaku.

This is not the first time that an institution's computer system has been hacked and was held hostage by hackers. Earlier this year, the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center was attacked by hackers who encrypted the hospital's files. The hack was reversed after the hospital reportedly paid $3.6 million in ransom.

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