San Francisco Chronicle

Hacked Muni refused $73,000 ransom demand; computers restored

November 30, 2016

For all Muni Metro passengers knew, the free rides they were getting Friday night and Saturday were a holiday gift from the transit system. Little did they know Muni was under attack from a hacker trying to squeeze $73,000 in ransom to unlock the agency’s computer systems.

Muni refused to pay up. Instead, officials shut down the system’s ticket machines, threw open the fare gates as a precautionary move, and contacted the Department of Homeland Security and their own technology division to contain the attack, they said.

“Considering paying that ransom was never an option,” said Paul Rose, an MTA spokesman.

By Sunday morning, the fare gates and ticket machines were up and running, and by Monday most systems were working again, Rose said.

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