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The Russian Railways information system got hacked in 20 minutes


Specialists of Russian Railways will conduct an investigation after the statement of the Habr user that he hacked the Wi-Fi network during a trip on the Sapsan high-speed train and gained access to the data of all its users in 20 minutes. According to the company, the hacked network did not contain personal data, but only entertainment content.

On Friday, November 15, user keklick1337 on the portal Habr.com was returning from Saint-Peterburg, where he visited the ZeroNights information security conference, to Moscow. The programmer became bored, and he decided to check the reliability of the Wi-Fi and easily gained access to the hidden data of Russian Railways. He noted that " the same passwords and free security certificates are used everywhere, and the data is stored in text documents."

"It is not difficult to access the data of the passengers of the train and it takes at most 20 minutes", noted the author of the post.

"The server of the information and entertainment system of Sapsan trains does not store personal data of passengers. The multimedia portal provides information and entertainment content: news of Russian Railways, movies, books, music and other information, " — said the representative of Russian Railways.

According to the spokesman, for authorization in the system, the user must enter only the last four characters of the document, which he used to buy a ticket, as well as the rail car and the seat number. These data are not personal and in accordance with the current legislation of the Russian Federation are stored on the server for no more than one day.

"The infotainment system server is not connected to the internal network of Russian Railways or other internal control services on the train, it is designed exclusively for entertainment and information topics and does not store any confidential customer data," added the company.

The Russian Railways plans to conduct a technological investigation on the fact of hacking the train system Sapsan.

Earlier, E Hacking News reported that the personal data of 703 thousand employees of Russian Railways, from the CEO to the drivers, were publicly available.

Lake County government shuts down servers after ransomware attack

After the massive cyberattack in Texas, officials from Lake County, Illinois revealed on Friday, August 23 that the county has been hit by a cyberattack that forced the shutdown of email service and several internal applications.

The officials also mentioned that the breach came in the form of ransomware, which is a type of malware that prevents users from accessing their system or personal files and demands a ransom payment in order to regain access.

Mark Pearman, director of county's information technology office said that on Thursday, August 22, the IT staff was installing cybersecurity software on 3,000 individual employee laptops and working on the process to remove the ransomware malware from 40 county servers.

The ransomware attack was first noticed by systems administrators on Thursday and to prevent it the IT staff started taking encrypted and unencrypted servers off the network.

However, the official clarified that there was no evidence of data theft from county servers and restoring the systems will take the entire week and more information about the attack will be known by Monday, August 26.

As reported, the IT department is working with the county's cybersecurity contractor, Crowdstrike to conduct a damage assessment. This process includes scanning of all the servers, almost 3,000 computers to determine those infected by the ransomware.

Almost a month ago, LaPorte County, Indiana also suffered a similar breach and the authorities paid a ransom of $132,000 worth of Bitcoins to the hackers to restore the access to affected systems.

Another ransomware hit 22 Texas town governments and recently Louisiana was also forced to declare a state of emergency after some of its school districts' networks were hacked. Now, Texas' 22 town government has become the victim of ransomware.

After all these events, National Guard Chief Gen Joseph Lengyel called the events a "cyber storm." He also mentioned that these multi-state cyber attack reiterates the need for more standardized policies and training for cyber units across the force.

Twitter removes nearly 4,800 accounts linked to Iran government

Twitter has removed nearly 4,800 accounts it claimed were being used by Iranian government to spread misinformation, the company said on Thursday.

Iran has made wide use of Twitter to support its political and diplomatic goals.

The step aims to prevent election interference and misinformation.

The social media giant released a transparency report that detailed recent efforts to tamp down on the spread of misinformation by insidious actors on its platform. In addition to the Iranian accounts, Twitter suspended four accounts it suspected of being linked to Russia's Internet Research Agency (IRA), 130 fake accounts associated with the Catalan independence movement in Spain and 33 accounts operated by a commercial entity in Venezuela.

It revealed the deletions in an update to its transparency report.

The 4,800 accounts were not a unified block, said Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of site integrity in a blog detailing its actions.

The Iranian accounts were divided into three categories depending on their activities. More than 1,600 accounts were tweeting global news content that supported the Iranian policies and actions. A total of 248 accounts were engaged specifically in discussion about Israel. Finally, a total of 2,865 accounts were banned due to taking on a false persona which was used to target political and social issues in Iran.

Since October 2018, Twitter has been publishing transparency reports on its investigations into state-backed information operations, releasing datasets on more than 30 million tweets.

Twitter has been regularly culling accounts it suspects of election interference from Iran, Russia and other nations since the fallout from the 2016 US presidential election. Back in February, the social media platform announced it had banned 2,600 Iran-linked accounts and 418 accounts tied to Russia's IRA it suspected of election meddling.

“We believe that people and organizations with the advantages of institutional power and which consciously abuse our service are not advancing healthy discourse but are actively working to undermine it,” Twitter said.