MIT Kids: Please come hack us!

Who knew all we needed was some MIT kids to help us get around any future fare hikes.

Apparently, some students at MIT made it a class project to hack the Boston subway system (aka the T).  As a matter of fact, the title of the project is: “The Anatomy of a Subway Hack: Breaking Crypto RFIDs & Magstripes of Ticketing Systems.”

Now, the students are computer security majors, so you can see the fit.

They planned to give their 80+ slide presentation at Defcon, a very large security conference.

However, the MTBA sued to have the presentation stopped.  A judge ordered a temporary restraining order keeping the presentation quiet.

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) got involved to fight the order.

Anyway, the kids had successfully shown how to generate and reverse engineer CharlieCards and CharlieTickets, the Boston version of Metrocards.

They basically did in a semester what any professional hackers could do, but planed to use it as an educational tool.  Sure, stealing rides is illegal, but the bigger issue is that some students were able to beat a system pretty easily.

Makes me wonder what kind of havoc they could wreak with the Metrocard system.

Hero Reports

I promise this is not an advertising plug.  I legitimately think this think is pretty cool, so that’s why I’m posting about it.  It just so happens, they are an advertiser this week.

Anyway, check out “Hero Reports.”

It’s by MIT about the people who “See Something, and Say Something.”

The idea is to track down the 1,944 people who “saw something” last year, and map out their instances of heroism.  It turns out, the stories of these can be pretty interesting.

Some of the stories are legitimately security related, but most are stories of kindness.  Strangers doing something to help other strangers.  It’s worth a look.

You can also post you own stories.  I have a feeling if SUBWAYblogger started posting stories there, the site would get overloaded.