Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Malware Has Speed Cameras in Moscow All Effed Up

No rules!
It's like they're TRYING to troll George Orwell. They know he's dead, right? (Photo: screencap, Russia Today)

It’s like they’re TRYING to troll George Orwell. They know he’s dead, right? (Photo: screencap, Russia Today)

How’s that brave new world  of connected devices faring so far? It’s going just great if you’re a Russian who drives like a bat out of hell, because some sort of malware infection has got Moscow’s network of speed cameras all screwed up. Welcome to the autobahn, baby!

The report comes from Russia’s Izvestiavia The Register. The city has an extensive system of cameras designed to catch offenders in the act and mail them tickets. It’s supposed to net something like $3.2 million in fines every month, which no doubt buys a whole lot of umbrellas for the meter maids.

Only, the network hasn’t been working properly for the last couple of weeks. Research by–who else?–Kaspersky Lab suggests that a virus got into the servers for the Office of Traffic Police, which infected other parts of the system with malware that prevents individual cameras from transmitting. Presumably the perpetrator is someone who’s always in a rush to get to the supermarket that closes really early because sometimes you just can’t go another day without Ben  & Jerry’s, toilet paper and a couple cans of cat food, am I right? 

But it wasn’t just newfangled hacking creating problems, though. Some of the cameras had decidedly low-tech problems:

A virus infection may be a secondary cause of failure at many of the 144 camera sites on the network: inspections of the gear at 13 locations revealed evidence that cameras were not connected to a power supply. Dirty glass lenses and corroded metal was also discovered.

Well just unplugging the damn things is one manner of virus protection, we suppose. 

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com