Last Saturday the San Francisco Muni’s fare system came to a halt after hackers successfully penetrated the ticketing system.
Across the city’s stations, ticket machines were disabled and access gates were opened, resulting in free rides that many, including this writer, took advantage of.
While the Muni’s management are claiming public safety and customer information wasn’t compromised, it is a very public reminder of the weaknesses in the Internet of Things and smartcity technologies.
Given the complexity of smartcity technologies it’s inevitable that hackers and malicious actors will find their way into Internet facing networks. The range of vendors involved and the vast diversity of devices, old and new, in the systems guarantees there will always be weaknesses.
The great challenge for the Internet of Things industry and smartcity advocates is to secure these diverse systems. The stakes are high for the communities using these technology.