WannaCry helps Australian drivers avoid traffic fines

WannaCry helps Australian drivers avoid traffic fines

WannaCry helps Australian drivers avoid traffic fines

About 50 Victorian speed and red-light cameras have reportedly been hit by a ransomware attack, but police say the cameras have not been compromised.

The Melbourne radio station 3AW said the cameras had been infected through use of an USB flash drive.

The state's Acting Deputy Commissioner, Ross Guenther, said he believed the fines were correctly issued but had cancelled them to preserve confidence in the camera system.

Guenther said the force had made a decision to cancel the 590 fines - even though he had "full confidence" in the cameras - and quarantine any newly captured infringements until Monday, when the problem is expected to be rectified. He said the majority had been fixed, with "dozen or so" still infected.

Victoria Police will cancel a total of 590 traffic fines after discovering that the cameras used to issue the tickets had been infected with a malicious software.

The incident has left Victoria Police with no option but to cancel all the outstanding fines and penalties issued while the infection was active.

"I think people have no reason to lose confidence in the road camera safety system", he said.

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She said the ransomware only affected old computer software that had not been recently patched.

While the ransomware's spread has since been quelled, there are still instances alive in the wild.

But the WannaCry developers have taken advantage of an old Windows exploit (a hole in the code) that meant they could remotely access computers and install their encryptor allowing the virus to attack networks across the world.

Just ask Japanese vehicle manufacturer Honda, which this week temporarily shut down a manufacturing plant because of WannaCry. The Victoria Police force was called in and opened "strategic communications" lines with the state's Justice Department and the independent operator of its road safety system, Serco, about the incident.

"A system patch has been applied, which prevents the spread of the virus", a Justice and Regulation spokesperson told the programme.

"These cameras are about saving lives; those cameras are still operating".

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