Something akin to techno-panic spread through Melbourne yesterday after reports claimed that the notorious WannaCry ransomeware virus had infected the city’s speed and red-light cameras.
The furore began in the early hours when Radio 3AW reported that about 50 Victorian speed and red-light cameras had been infected, freezing the cameras.
The report – billed as “exclusive” – said the WannaCry virus had hit private camera operator RedFlex, which operates most traffic cameras in Victoria.
An IT News report later upped the number of affected cameras to 55. The Victoria Police force was called in and opened “strategic communications” lines with the state’s Justice Department and the independent operator of its road safety system, Serco, about the incident.
However 3AW later reported the ransomware had been introduced into the camera system by “human error”, and said the Justice Department was in the process of removing it from affected machines. Each camera was said to been infected innocently by a worker’s USB. No ransom was demanded or paid.
And, as a Justice spokesman said: “The software virus has not impacted the accuracy of the camera system.”
That’s the good news. The bad news (for some at least): “All infringements during this period have been captured correctly,” the Justice spokesman said.