Saturday, February 24, 2007

Who hacked the PDP-11s?

At 21:55 yesterday I received the following from the Connex SMS system...

ALLAHU AKBR FROM CONNEX! our inspectorS Love Killing people - If you see one coming, run. Want to bomb a train? they will gladly help! See you in hell!

And at 23:28 the apology...

A hoax message was sent tonight to some users. Connex apologises and is investigating with the police.

So it looks like somebody's hacked the Connex systems last night. Does that bother anybody else? If they can get into the customer database with our mobile numbers and other details, as well as the SMS gateway, what else could they access?

Let's hope they don't figure out how to control the train set...


Anonymous Steve said...

Not having adequate security fits Connex incompetence profile. However, I am not worried about some Script Kiddie being able to take control of the train network. This requires either pure chance or some insider with knowledge of this antiquated system. A self proclaimed "Hacker" is already way to sophisticated and will probably be too young and therefore not understand how to program with punch cards!

25 February, 2007 10:47  
Anonymous I said...

Sure your right but it would be real bad if they did suss it out coz connex cant stop them

25 February, 2007 17:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read this article this morning:

Lyn Kosky pi$$ing in our pocket comment:
"Hinted at relaxing late penalties for trains, arguing Melburnians were too focused on punctuality".

Ok, so i'm sure there was a bit of journalistic encouragement there but still she is sounding worse than batchelor...

Hopefully she was grossly mis-understood.

26 February, 2007 08:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


you said:
"Let's hope they don't figure out how to control the train set..."

Whats to figure out? connex haven't worked it out yet!

I wasn't to worried about the hacking, but it was surpirsing that the hacked message was clearer than some of the dribble normally coming from connex.

26 February, 2007 08:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also shocked to see Kosky saying that Melbournians were too focused on punctuality....uh....if you don't know what time you're going to get somewhere, how can you organise anything?! I want some of these people to actually catch the train in Melbourne and realise that even with a margin of error, it's impossible to accurately plan a journey on the Melbourne train system.

26 February, 2007 09:17  
Anonymous Steve said...

Well there we go. Yes we are focused on punctuality and there are struggling to get the trains running at all. So let's take one step after an other. First take a train and run it along the (hopefully) right track and pick up some constantly nervous and complaining life freight (used to be called paying customer. To put the crowd into a comatose state, turn on heating (in summer) or aircon (in winter) until they finally arrive at some station the train hopefully stops without overshooting.
However, if there is rain or the temperature is over 30C then cancel some trains and join the other at the telly or at the beach. No fun driving in there dangerous weather conditions anyway. It's a train, not a plane!

26 February, 2007 13:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I partially agree with Kosky. We are too focussed on punctuality, but if they ran more trains we wouldn't need to be. If we knew a train was going to be coming every 5-8 minutes, we wouldn't need to worry about timetables. Connex has always said that running a mix of express and S-A-S trains is one of the main reasons for unpunctual trains. However, no express trains run on the Sandringham line and they still can't manage to run the crowded trains any less than 10 minutes apart, or on time....

26 February, 2007 17:34  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Those punctuality arguments really frustrate me. Personally I wouldn't give a toss about a train being two or three minutes late if it were just the delay itself. For example, if you're catching the 10:15 and it arrived at 10:18 instead, who would care? Very few people because the impact is minimal.

But if the 08:15 arrived at 08:18 you would care because on average you're going to pick up 30% more passengers, since there's a train (supposedly) every ten minutes. 30% more passengers in an already crowded carriage make for an uncomfortable journey. So Ms Kosky, understand that - it's not the time delay itself, it's the impact of that time delay.

27 February, 2007 04:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with you on the 3 minutes late means 30% more overcrowding for the Sandringham line, hence on time running during peak periods for the Sandringham line is important to passenger comfort or even being able to board the train in peak hour.
However, on the Hurstbridge line, late running make less of an overcrowding problem due to the lower frequency of trains. Unfortunately, its not as simple as that. Late running also means cascading delays because of the 4 main sections of single tracks, and other minor ones. If the delays blow out too far, to stop cascading delays, trains stop 2-3 stations short of their destination and go back to the city, meaning a cancellation for those at the more outer stations!
So yes, I don't think a 3 minute delay is too bad, sometimes it can cause other problems - and if it does people miss even less frequent connecting services such as buses.

27 February, 2007 08:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 minutes isn't much.

Didn't Connex have that gimmicky site - don't hold people back.

It starts to make sense - how 15 second hooligans, and those crammed into a doorway really do slow down a train.

27 February, 2007 15:30  
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