Virus-Infected Roadside Cameras Result in Thousands of Withdrawn Traffic Tickets

The WannaCry ransomware virus was unknowingly uploaded to hundreds of traffic cameras in Australia.

VICTORIA, Australia — Police officials here announced they are withdrawing 1643 traffic tickets and suspending up to 8000 while red-light and speed cameras across the state are investigated for signs of the WannaCry ransomware virus.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther originally said that 55 cameras had been exposed to the ransomware virus, however they’ve now determined that number is 280 cameras.

The WannaCry ransomeware virus works by targeting computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system and then encrypting the device’s data, requiring ransom payments made via Bitcoin to restore access.

The traffic cameras are not connected to the internet, however a maintenance worker inadvertently connected a USB drive with the virus on it to the camera system on June 6, causing the infection.

Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer said the malware caused the cameras to continually reboot and while there is no indication the malware had caused inaccurate radar readings, police want to be “over cautious” to maintain public faith in the system.

Fryer believes the 7500 to 8000 tickets affected could be re-issued, but not until police had reviewed the cameras to ensure they were functioning properly.

“We’ve got one of the best camera systems worldwide and to have an issue like this is disappointing,” Fryer said. “We need to make sure the integrity of our system is sacrosanct and it is beyond reproach.”

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Steven A. Karantzoulidis is the Web Editor for Security Sales & Integration. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Communication and has a background in Film, A/V and Social Media.

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