Metro Hacked


(C) 2023, The Ferguson Observer

Metro, the transit system serving the St. Louis region, was the target of a successful and comprehensive ransomware attack on Monday morning. Sources tell the Observer that at about 5:00 am, computers systems were affected by an intrusion which encrypted file contents and changed their extensions, rendering all networked computers unusable. The hack has extended beyond the workstations and Windows servers which are commonly targeted in such attacks, and has shut down their phone system, including the widely publicized customer service line. In addition, real time tracking of buses on the Transit app have failed. Call-A-Ride service has been suspended, except for recurring dialysis trips for which they had a printed schedule. Reports indicate that individual workstations were compromised, as well as network servers.

The Observer is presently working to determine whether a ransom demand has been made. For large organizations, hackers typically demand large sums of money, delivered in Bitcoin. And unfortunately, even payment does not guarantee that data will be restored.

In a message to employees, Bi-State president Taulby Roach stated that “Good news is that we believe the breach to be contained and we were able to continue to safely run our transit services through Monday.” However, other reports indicate that almost every system was infected. The system which runs Metrolink was spared, and light rail service has been unaffected. Mr. Roach did not immediately respond to efforts to reach him for comment. This story is developing, and will be updated as we obtain more information.