New Zealand’s public transport card service has been thrown into disarray, possibly as a result of a ransomware assault.
Auckland Transport (AT) has issued an official statement acknowledging a significant technical disruption affecting AT HOP services. The source of this cyber assault remains unknown, as no hacker group has taken responsibility for the AT HOP cyber attack.
AT HOP cards are convenient and cost-effective electronic smart cards designed for seamless fare payment, facilitating hassle-free travel on buses, trains, and ferries.
AT HOP Cyber Attack: What We Know So Far
Despite the disruption caused by the AT HOP cyber attack, which has left commuters searching for assistance with their travel plans, the official statement published on the New Zealand government website provides reassurance that bus, train, and ferry services remain operational and accessible to the public.
“You should still tag on and off when travelling,” it added.
Accepting speculations of a ransomware attack on AT HOP, an AT spokesperson told the Herald, “Indications are that this is a ransomware attack, however, investigations are ongoing.”
New Zealand transportation authorities have maintained a tight lid on details surrounding the AT HOP cyber attack up to this point.
The incident, which was officially disclosed today at 1:00 P.M., initially struck the AT HOP systems, causing disruptions primarily in the area of top-up services.
Touching upon the possibility of any data leaked by hackers, the statement read, “This issue has arisen from a cyber incident to part of our AT HOP system. At this point in time we believe the incident is isolated to one part of our system and that no personal or financial data has been accessed.”
Bringing back the services that fell victim to the AT HOP cyber attack to their full operational capacity is projected to necessitate nearly a week’s time.
Services Accessible and Inaccessible After the AT HOP Cyber Attack
Travellers with existing auto top ups can still use them with a delay in the processing of the payments. Cash payments at the top-up machines and buying tickets are available.
However, users may not be able to use Eftpos/ credit cards as machines may not be working due to the AT HOP security incident.
Amid the fallout from the AT HOP cyber attack, cash payments are being accepted at AT customer service centers, with limited service options currently in place. The security incident has left HOP retailers unable to top up cards and load concessions.
Adding to the woes, the MYAT HOP services, normally accessible through the AT HOP website, remain inaccessible due to the suspected ransomware attack that has targeted AT HOP systems.
Addressing travelling concerns of people in New Zealand, the AT HOP spokesperson further added, “We don’t expect this will cause disruptions for our customers when they’re travelling today or over coming days.”
With a massive cyber attack such as the AT HOP card incident, people are still able to commute as they please giving a glimpse of the security measures and steps taken by the authorities to ensure people are impacted the least.
The Cyber Express has sought clarification from officials regarding the nature of the attack on AT HOP, including inquiries about the presence of a ransom note, which could potentially confirm whether this incident indeed constitutes a ransomware attack. We will update this report based on their response.
Media Disclaimer: This report is based on internal and external research obtained through various means. The information provided is for reference purposes only, and users bear full responsibility for their reliance on it. The Cyber Express assumes no liability for the accuracy or consequences of using this information.