Watch Dogs 2 comes alive as San Francisco light-rail hack forces free rides

It’s just like in that game, Watch Dogs 2!

San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency is still investigating a hack that forced Muni Metro ticketing machines to be taken offline Friday evening and all day Saturday after the message “You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted” hit Muni agents’ computer screens.

Transportation was not interrupted, though riders got free rides — just on the Metro, which is only a portion of San Francisco’s already-insufficient public transit system — for the duration while the SFMTA kept its computers down as a precaution. On Sunday afternoon Muni spokesman Paul Rose said, “[T]here is no impact to transit service, to our security systems or to our customers’ private information.”

According to SFGate, security experts are calling it a “possible ‘ransomware’ attack,” where hackers lock you out of your computer in exchange for a ransom. Bitcoin, perhaps. Me, I’m calling it an excuse to talk about my local transit system issues by comparing it to recently-released hacking video game Watch Dogs 2, which takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area, baby!

Muni recovers from computer hack as probe goes on [SF Gate]

Steven Hansen