MTA Reports Cyber Hack In April, But No Disruption Or Data Loss

The MTA reports it was among several organizations that were hacked on April 20. The intrusion, which reportedly has links to China, was first reported by the Times

The MTA is the largest transportation network in North America, covering a 5,000 square-mile area including New York City and the surrounding region.

On the day of the breach, federal officials at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency alerted the MTA that it had been hacked and recommended some immediate fixes to its computer system.

The MTA then hired two cyber security companies, Mandiant and IBM, to conduct an audit to see if anything had been disrupted or if any customer or employee data was stolen. The MTA said the firms found no evidence.

The MTA also said this lack of evidence showed that its security system worked as designed. Still, it said it’s working with those experts to add further protections to its computer network.

“Importantly, the MTA’s existing multi-layered security systems worked as designed, preventing spread of the attack and we continue to strengthen these comprehensive systems and remain vigilant as cyber-attacks are a growing global threat,” Rafail Portnoy, MTA Chief Technology Officer, wrote in a statement.

The Times reports this was the third attack on the MTA, likely from foreign agents.

Mandiant, which is owned by the firm Fireeye, posted a report on how it believes the hackers had entered multiple systems beyond the MTA’s, including defense, government, and financial organizations.