San Antonio Cybersecurity Startup Scanned VIA Metropolitan’s Virtual Network – Here’s What they Found
A local cybersecurity startup looking to show what it can do found malware lurking in VIA Metropolitan Transit’s computer network recently.
Infocyte Inc.’s software discovered the malicious program as part of a free demonstration for VIA, which the company hopes to retain as a client. Infocyte Inc. scanned more than 900 machines across VIA Metropolitan Transit’s system in San Antonio looking for malware and evidence of hackers. Infocyte Inc. scanned more than 900 machines across VIA Metropolitan Transit’s system in… more
“We see a lot of networks, and I’d say VIA had a good standard build. They had enterprise-grade security software already in place to defend themselves,” said Chris Gerritz, CEO of Infocyte. “But it’s not enough against the threats that are out there and those that are coming. Public infrastructure is an attack path.”
The cybersecurity scan explored about 950 end points inside the transit service’s office network including servers and route control systems. The Wi-Fi on VIA buses uses a network segregated from the company’s headquarters and nearly 2,000 employees.
“In this case, the threats that we found were not causing a disruption of services immediately, but they were things that could potentially become so,” Gerrtiz said. “Whenever someone has remote access to a network that shouldn’t have it, that’s a high risk. Even if they don’t have a motive to do something with it, they could sell that.”
Agencies that control infrastructure are a new target market for Infocyte, a cybersecurity company that created a software for businesses to scour their own computers and servers for potential security breaches.
“It’s not like a natural disaster, which you can sometimes predict when and the damage,” he said. “We don’t have industry standards that are sent down from the government, so most of us are out here doing what we can with the resources that we have.”
VIA information technology staff were able to secure the network after removing the malware, which also included so-called backdoors, a Trojan horse-type of malware capable of extracting data and remote access tools.
The partnership began after a suggestion by VIA board member Tex Morgan.
“I’m always looking out for the safety of our riders, and safety isn’t just about what happens on the bus but out in the world too,” Morgan said. “We’re not running trains or anything like that, but we do have a lot of customer data and personal information.”