In one of the coolest and more outrageous repair stories in quite some time, three white-hat hackers helped a regional rail company in southwest Poland unbrick a train that had been artificially rendered inoperable by the train’s manufacturer after an independent maintenance company worked on it. The train’s manufacturer is now threatening to sue the hackers who were hired by the independent repair company to fix it.

After breaking trains simply because an independent repair shop had worked on them, NEWAG is now demanding that trains fixed by hackers be removed from service.

  • onlinepersona@programming.dev
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    7 months ago

    The government better sue the train manufacturer and protect these hackers. The hackers saved the state millions - possibly hundreds of millions.

  • duncesplayed@lemmy.one
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    7 months ago

    Holy shit. If I understand correctly, the trains were programmed to use their GPS sensors to detect if they were ever physically moved to an independent repair shop. If they detected that they were at an independent repair shop, they were programmed to lock themselves and give strange and nonsensical error codes. Typing in an unlock code at the engineer’s console would allow the trains to start working normally again.

    If there were a corporation-sized mirror, I don’t know how NEWAG could look at itself in it.

    • Archpawn@lemmy.world
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      7 months ago

      They weren’t doing anything smartphone manufacturers haven’t been doing for years. Or those guys that make McDonalds ice cream machines.

        • gomp@lemmy.ml
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          7 months ago

          Governments (and the public sector in general) are treated way worse by companies than private customers who can far more easily switch to a competitor or influence others to do so

  • WashedOver@lemmy.ca
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    7 months ago

    I wonder if they were taking notes from John Deere and the automotive industry or will it be the reverse here soon?

    Just imagine all these vehicles that could be bricked for not going back to the stealerships for outrageous prices on parts and incompetent service.

    Also the vehicles that could be disabled for not paying for device protection plan that allows your vehicle to operate safely. It would be a shame if your vehicle stopped working on your way to work or the hospital.

    I suspect Tesla, BMW, and John Deere are the closest to this reality.

    I sure hope the government doesn’t help with another great cash for clunkers national program to get rid of more cars too old for these measures. Sure is a great way to drive new car sales though…

  • Blizzard@lemmy.zip
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    7 months ago

    I wonder if they’ll be able to overclock those trains or install some mods.

  • Moonrise2473@feddit.it
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    7 months ago

    “The president of Newag contacted me,” Cieszyński wrote. "He claims that Newag fell victim to cybercriminals and it was not an intentional action by the company

    Yes, those cybercriminals that once infiltrated in a business network, instead of stealing data or holding ransoms, hide multiple iterations in the code of a snippet that only benefits the corp. Sure, they exist

    • Malgas@beehaw.org
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      7 months ago

      Also taking legal action against people who helped your customers resolve the consequences of such an attack seems perfectly normal and not at all contrary to that narrative.

  • kingthrillgore@lemmy.ml
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    7 months ago

    It would be interesting to see if Alstom, Hyundai Rotem, and Stadler Rail are doing the same. They are sitting on billions in public sector contracts.