Earlier in December, Moscow had opened a new service for cable cars and they had even promised free rides for the first month. Unfortunately, only a couple of days into its introduction, the host company was looking for ransomware removal strategies.
Many eager passengers could be seen lined up to take their free rides, only to find police officers explaining that the service had been halted due to some technical reasons. This is when a media report surfaced saying that the service’s main computer had come down with a form of ransomware and the operations of the cable cars service were at risk.
The agency interlocutor was even quoted to have said that they received a message from an anonymous source who was asking them to transfer bitcoins in exchange for ransomware removal. The amount for ransom that was found on the letter was said to be ‘depending on the time taken to respond to the threat’.
Well, as it turns out, this wasn’t the first ever threat received by a public transportation service. The San Francisco Transit system had numerous of their payment systems and computers infected by ransomware called HDDCryptor. Till the authorities had not come up with a ransomware removal strategy, passengers were being allowed to ride for free! Talk about the Robin Hood of the digital world.
So what happened to the cable cars in Moscow? In mid-December, the cable cars had resumed their operations with no word about what had to be done to get all the necessary files decrypted. Our best guess is they paid the ransom and are now probably taking some preventative measures in order to prevent a future crisis.
All we can say about these developments is that cybercriminals have no bounds!