Speeding drivers in Australia will not face fines because traffic cameras were infected with the ransomware.
(CCM) — Police in Australia have been forced to cancel tickets issued to drivers caught speeding or running red lights because the traffic cameras that recorded the offenses were infected with the WannaCry ransomware, according to a BBC report. In total, 590 tickets have been cancelled, despite the police in the state of Victoria believing that the malware had not made the cameras malfunction. "I cancelled the fines because I think it's important the public has 100% confidence in the system," Acting Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther told the BBC.
The traffic cameras became infected when a maintenance worker uploaded the ransomware to the camera network inadvertently from a USB stick, the report says. The infection was detected after police monitoring the cameras noticed that they were rebooting more frequently than normal.
The WannaCry ransomware exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows operating system which was originally discovered by the National Security Agency (NSA) and subsequently stolen by hackers who broke in to the NSA's systems. The ransomware is believed to have been developed by hackers working for, or sponsored by, the government of North Korea.
The software has infected computers in many large organizations including FedEx, Russia's interior ministry, and the U.K.'s National Health Service.
Image: © iStock.