Security Researchers Crack Australian State Public Transport System: Get Free Rides

Security Researchers Crack Australian State Public Transport System: Get Free Rides -- The research group of Theo Juleene, Karla Brunett, Damon Stacey, and Dougall Johnston was able to breach into the "decades-old custom cryptographic scheme" of the ticket mechanism of a state public transport system in Australia, thereby enabled free travel using the said transit.

Here is the 4-members team comprising the research group: Theo Juleene, Karla Burnett, Damon Stacey, and Dougall Johnston:
Photo: www.scmagazine.com.au
These guys were able to replicate the ticket cards of the existing transport system. Luckily, they are not the digital villain type of guys but instead, they presented their work in a certain conference (Ruxcon security conference) in Melbourne to alert the transport management about the ticket flaws. The group's presentation was dubbed as "Reverse Engineering a Mass Transit Ticketing System".

The research finding cum pressure on the part of the state public transport calls for a definite solution for the mass transportation system, which extends to other modes including trains and buses. The outdated schema and technology have to be fixed the soonest time possible to avoid serious and malicious damages in the future.

Here's what Dougall Johnston has to say about his group's security research and the transport ticket system that they decoded:
It was independent research, done through curiosity (Johnston)
The custom cryptography was made before I was born
The deal was a responsible disclosure for the honest researchers. They even showed a string of "ticketing data extracted from the cards to the transport organization" as a show of their sincere concerns.

This brings to mind, the case of our very own mass transit system in the Philippines, particularly Mega Manila. Undeniably, there is this type of system lag in many of our transport systems running in the metropolis. Many of them come in simple form like lack of proper and adequate signage and information board, including map references and the like. We can't even solve the very simple task of abiding by a train operation schedule and timing. We even get short of train tickets at times they are needed the most.

If only our research fellows are being tapped properly for the improvement of our public transport systems, things would have been different. But sadly, many of our very promising research findings and recommendations end up in the library shelves.



No comments:

Post a Comment