Oops! NYC taxi GPS system has a few security holes.

hacked nyc taxi

Despite mucho complaints and an unsuccessful strike by cab drivers, all New York City cabs were still outfitted with touch-screen GPS systems.

Some drivers protested because of tax concerns — with GPS tracking there will now be a permanent record of trips, forcing them to pay Uncle Sam in full. Others aren’t so happy about the 5% cut that credit card companies take when fares are charged. And, still others fear a privacy loss that GPS brings, perhaps making it more difficult to take the ‘scenic route’.

Now there’s another reason to complain: these touch-screen computers are far from secure. A minor IE error allowed one user to access the Start menu and even the filesystem. And this thing takes your credit cards? It’s a bit scary.

Link (Original)
Link (Engadget Post)

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2 Responses to Oops! NYC taxi GPS system has a few security holes.

  1. Actually, the above is not accurate. The so-called “security flaw” was one passenger finding a way into an OS prompt screen in what was one of five cabs still equipped with a prototype technology system used in a field functionality test. Even if credit card data was available to the individual — which it never was — the data is encrypted and unusable. The five prototypical systems were removed from the road within a few hours of the initial post on this about a month ago. People may rest assured that these systems are totally secure!

  2. kfarr says:

    Allan, thanks for the clarification.

    It is reassuring that you and the rest of the TLC staff are highly engaged to stamp out issues like these.

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