Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

US judge gags subway card hackers

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Regular readers here will realise that this judge is busy slamming a barn door shut after the horses have bolted. He also seems not to understand that the way information is transmitted these days, a conference of security experts is not the thing the transit operators ought to be worried about. In fact, if this leak is going to be plugged effectively you need to have people working in the field of transit revenue collection well aware of the holes so they can come up with solutions quickly. Open source software like Linux is inherently more secure than proprietary systems since there are many more “eyes on the street” making sure that hacking is prevented. And systems get updated very quickly when flaws are found – there is no waiting for some big corporation to get its act together.

While I quote just one source, this story is all over the internet as it is seen as a fundamental attack on free speech and the need for researchers to share their findings. Expect an appeal. And also note that (if you did not know) a similar attamept to block discussion in Europe already failed – so the bad guys are already busy. Hog tying the good guys is not going to help get a solution.

And if you think fare evasion is all new and hi tech try this

Written by Stephen Rees

August 10, 2008 at 10:50 am

Posted in Fare evasion

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