WannaCry helps Australian drivers avoid traffic fines

Posted June 24, 2017

Hundreds of drivers in Australia need not pay fines for recent driving infractions, after police determined the WannaCry virus infiltrated their road-side cameras.

A cyber virus, dubbed WannaCry, has infected 55 different speeding and red-light camera locations in Victoria.

The Department of Justice and Regulation said the virus was introduced to the system by mistake by a contractor via, apparently by an infected USB stick.

"Importantly, only three of those (tickets) resulted in loss of license infringements", said Acting Deputy Commissioner, Ross Guenther, at a press conference.

A system patch to prevent the virus from spreading further has been applied to the network of cameras.

More than 50 speed and red light cameras in the state have been affected by the malware.

"It's really important that we give the public some confidence around our camera system in Victoria".

Tech workers at the police became suspicious last week, after they began to notice the speed cameras rebooting themselves more often than usual. "The remaining sites will be rectified in the next couple of days".

Security researcher Matthieu Suiche said the virus was created to encrypt files on infected machines.

He said he would be meeting the Assistant Commissioner of Road and Policing, the Sherrif and the Traffic Camera Commissioner on Monday to start an inquiry into the matter.

A total of 55 cameras were impacted by the malware, which is able to lock down vital files and demand a ransom for their return, however officials stressed it was a targeted cyberattack.

He understood the virus tried to connect to the internet to encrypt the system - but the cameras are not linked to the web.

"These cameras are about saving lives; those cameras are still operating".