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back to article Moscow's speed cameras 'knackered' by MYSTERY malware

Malware has infected a Russian police computer network, knackering speed cameras in and around Moscow, according to reports. Broadsheet daily Izvestia reckons a server operated by the Office of Traffic Police was infiltrated by an unidentified Trojan. The infection disabled parts of the cops' Arrow-ST system used to monitor key …

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Joke

Oh god..a bit of russian malware I'd *actually want* in the UK.

<-- And before the anti-speeding lobby gets a full head of steam going, witness icon.

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Anonymous Coward

In the UK

Speed camera malware is more low tech.

In the form of an old tyre and can of diesel.

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Stop

Re: In the UK

"In the form of an old tyre and can of diesel."

Diesel doesn't burn, y'know...

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Re: In the UK

whilst diesel isn't as flammable as petrol it most certainly burns once you get it a little warm, if diesel didn't burn it would make the diesel engine much harder to achieve.

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Ahh, there's good news tonight!

Oh god..a bit of russian malware I'd *actually want* in the UK...

Hell, I'd like to see that bad boy hit the States, too!

...and that ain't no goddamn' joke, either.

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Facepalm

Re: In the UK

"whilst diesel isn't as flammable as petrol it most certainly burns once you get it a little warm, if diesel didn't burn it would make the diesel engine much harder to achieve."

Diesel engines work on compression ignition, not by sparking it.

Likewise, holding a lighter to it to sabotage a speed camera as per the original post simply doesn't work.

Of course diesel is ultimately burnable (as is pretty much anything in the right conditions), but for the purposes stated it's effectively not.

Basically, I'm trying to discourage anyone using Diesel to set light to speed cameras.

Use petrol, like normal people.

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Joke

Suspect it's spread by ..

A drive-by download !

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Re: In the UK

Line tire with burlap feed bags. Soak burlap with diesel. Light burlap wick. Works for starting burn piles in a driving rainstorm, or so I'm told. I wouldn't know if this is hearsay or fact, as the practice is illegal and I'd never do anything illegal. Besides, we don't have real rain here in California ;-)

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Re: Ahh, there's good news tonight!

which states have the speed cameras? Just out of curiosity you understand! We are lucky enough not to have any, not least because the roads are too crap to speed on.

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Re: In the UK

"Line tire with burlap feed bags. Soak burlap with diesel. Light burlap wick. Works for starting burn piles in a driving rainstorm, or so I'm told."

Burlap feed sacks? We're not that rural, y'know!

Over here people just line the tyre with old rags and petrol. Although the habit is in decline and I haven't seen anyone bothering to burn one out for quite some time now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In the UK

"Diesel doesn't burn, y'know..."

Any cotton wick, such as an old rag will do nicely.

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Alert

Plastic bag over the top works just as well, and not as like to get you done for vandalism. It'll usually take a few days for anyone to notice and remove it, and our taxes don't get spent.

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Angel

Re: In the UK

Diesel fuel will burn, if wicked, such as a rag soaked with it.

However, a 5:1 mixture of diesel and petrol make for an extremely hot fire. That mixture is what was once used in burn out latrines.

Not that I'd encourage soaking rags in that mixture around a speed camera. That would be unlawful.

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g e
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Go

Most excellent

Can we get some of that speedcam-knackering malware lovin' over here in the UK please?

So much easier than driving around dousing them in petrol or cutting them down with detcord...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Most excellent

Why not just slow down when you see the camera? Or the dashes on the road?

I'm not anti-speeding. I speed all the time on clear out of town roads (don't see the point of speeding in 30-zones. You won't save much time, it's no fun, and there are people around). I cruise at 100mph+ on motorways quite regularly and have never been caught in over 20 years of driving.

People who regularly get caught by speed cameras (the bright yellow, obvious ones) deserve to lose their licence as they're clearly not paying attention, which is far worse than speeding. OK, so there are folk who get caught out once or twice, which is fair enough, but there really are folk who habitually speed, repeatedly get caught, and blame the cameras or the "system". It's their fault that we have the bloody things in the first place.

Not that I care. I'm able to detect them using my amazing human vision.

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Re: Most excellent

I think our revenue cameras are too stupid to understand malware. Most of them still use film cameras, so transferring the data means taking the film reel out, attempting to find a photo development lab that is still open and getting humans to look at the photos.

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Re: Most excellent

If you want to speed, campaign for a raising of the speed limit (was a political platform only a few months ago to raise motorways to 80mph but not enough people were interested in supporting it for it to gain any momentum). Countries, in the EU, of similar size have higher and even "unlimited" speed roads that operate perfectly well (the German Autobahn is THE best set of roads I've ever driven on in my life, for driver courtesy, driver sense - staying out of the way of faster traffic - and sheer quality of the surface) - it's not that big a stretch to get them in the UK.

Don't complain that the speed limit that is there is enforced. It's hard enough for the police to be seen doing their job as it is, at least the robots are pretty infallible. If it's that much of a "burden" to you, get the limit raised and still properly enforced. You'll have my vote, if we can achieve anything even near the German Autobahn system.

And, I have to echo, if you get caught by a speed camera, you're an idiot. It's like having "bank fraud detectors" and then complaining that you're always being caught on them when you commit a fraud.

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Re: Most excellent

Agreed. I like ignoring speed limits as much as the next petrol-head, but anyone driving in excess of the speed limit who doesn't notice a bright yellow box at the side of the road shouldn't be speeding in the first place.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Most excellent

@Jonathanb - They're only revenue cameras if you are:

a) Breaking the law already

b) Incapable of moderating your driving style near big yellow reflective boxes on sticks

c) A danger to yourself and others on the road because of B.

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Re: Most excellent

@ac The powers that be like to call them "safety cameras". That is why I call them revenue cameras.

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Unhappy

Re: Most excellent

> the German Autobahn is THE best set of roads I've ever driven on in my life, for driver courtesy, driver sense - staying out of the way of faster traffic - and sheer quality of the surface

You've just enumerated reasons for not raising the speed limit in the UK. I, personally, am not in favour of Maureen barrelling along at 100mph on the motorway - nor do I have any confidence in her getting out of my way/not getting in my way if I were doing so.

According to the wiki, Germany had 7.2 deaths per billion vehicle-km in 2010, compared to 5.7 in the UK. Restrict that to motorways/autobahns, and Germany has 4.5 deaths per billion vehicle-km, compared to 2.0 in the UK - and the motorways in the UK are busier (source, although this info seems to be from 2000, so a teensy bit out of date).

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Re: Most excellent

"Incapable of moderating your driving style near big yellow reflective boxes on sticks"... the locations of which are public knowledge and programmed into most sat-navs purchaseable on today's market, which conveniently warn you with audio messages when approaching one and can even be set to beep if you're over the limit.

I honestly do not get "the speed-camera issue". They've been crippled to the point of uselessness and still people compare that they are "money-makers". Well, if they are, well done to them. Think how much money they'd make from "inadequate braking distance" cameras, or other "driving like a pillock" cameras, or if they were just hidden in a bush somewhere and you didn't know you were caught red-handed until the fine arrived on your doorstep.

It's a kind of natural selection. If it affects you, maybe you should look at exactly why.

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Re: Most excellent

I assume you're being downvoted by the people who like driving at 80mph while being totally oblivious.

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Re: Most excellent

I was thinking they should replace speed cameras with noise cameras. Since typically noise is more a nuisance than speed. The additional benefit being that the faster you drive the more noise your vehicle makes, so it catches people who race around in 30mph zones, motorbikes and people who dont maintain their vehicles to a decent standard.

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Headmaster

Re: Most excellent

70 limit came in in 1965 after Carroll Shelby was reported to reach 198mph on the M1.

Before then, the white circle with a black diagonal line meant "End of Speed Limit".

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Go

Re: Most excellent

Mmmmmm...detcord....

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Re: Most excellent

Detcord?!?!

What a waste of a useful thing.

Have a proper fireworks display, use thermite.

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Do your civic duty

" ...The cameras should bring in 100 million roubles ($3.2m) per month in speeding fines, ..."

Break the speed limit often, to assist the finances of your home town.

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Re: Do your civic duty

At least they're honest enough in Russia to say what the cameras are *really* for!

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Big Brother

Re: Do your civic duty

Spread over only 144 total cameras all things being equal that averages to a income of $730.59 per day per camera.... holy shikey

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Mushroom

Re: Do your civic duty

Yes, that is pretty low. Like ~ 10 tickets a day. I would have expected far more.

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Childcatcher

3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

Of course the extra income to the local government was only a secondary attribute, they were obviously put there to keep the motorist's safe.

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FAIL

Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

Its mostly third parties that get harmed by speeding car drivers---speed cameras in theUK are placed where someone has died. often a child. Imagine, the child in shock half under the car mangled crying for mummy... but you would rather get from A to B 3 mins quicker....

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Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

"-speed cameras in theUK are placed where someone has died."

Have they changed the rules? I was under the impression that there had to be a number of accidents within a specified time frame - and that there was no verification that the accidents were caused by speeding.

"but you would rather get from A to B 3 mins quicker"

That 3 mins soon adds up. If you imagine losing 3 mins twice a day - thats an hour each fortnight or over a day every year in time just wasted. In my current job which I have been driving to virtually every day for 12 years, I have lost over a fortnight of my life due to time wasters on the roads (actually - I lose approx 6-7 mins daily each way due to 40mph drivers - so I have lost over a month of my life!)

I don't condone speeding in built-up / residential areas, but on a main road where it is safe I would expect traffic to maintain 60mph and when it is quiet such as at night, I don't see any issue with breaking the speed limit a little as long as it is safe to do so.

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Childcatcher

Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

Bet those children soon add up as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

I find that variable, Devon and Cornwall police are fantastic for placement. They are never hidden always on dangerous roads, no excessive signage. Just the information you want/need with enforcement to stop idiots.

Plymouth used to be the same way but a few years back the city went bonkers, there are hundreds of camera's placed around many in places where it is impossible to speed (see Royal parade where you go through 4 in a half mile stretch of road with 3 sets of traffic lights).

Dorset will setup mobile speed traps, where there aren't any accidents or compliants but where they know people will speed. Considering some of the bends Dorset has (see A30 and A303) and where they setup speed traps, It is pretty obvious they go in for fines and not safety.

Gloucester places them on exits to roundabouts mostly in non-residential area's. Again I think this is to catch the motorist who is concentrating more on coming off the roundabout than their speed (one road is 40MPH but people panic and break down to 20mph as they turn off and it makes things far harder, as you choose to emergency break or filter into the other lane).

I always view speed as possible by-product of driving well (hitting that apex correctly, planning properly, etc..), not a goal.

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Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

A number of cameras near me were placed there when they built the road so that's no true.

50mph on a nice stretch of straight dual carriage way, far from houses with no junctions. Go figure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

Well said. Someone walking (adult/child) walks into the path of a fast and heavy object. Just because the impatient muppet wants to get across the road now instead of waiting for a clear time to cross. The exception being little children who dont know better. Where were their parents? Why did the child not know to look and if the child didnt know then why was it alone near the road?

It is those selfish people who dont think of the psychological horror experienced by the driver who has to hit the muppet who walked in front of their car. Watching someone on the phone, listening to music, holding a conversation or general ignorance of physics and survival who need educating.

Speeding is bad and adds an amount of danger. But Darwinian selection based on the stupidity and selfishness of a few cannot be stopped by slowing cars down. They will just find another way to kill themselves off.

What ever happened to the look before you cross adverts? Common sense please people.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

Oh really? We've had a speed camera outside our house for a long time. I've lived here 36+ years and I know for a fact there's never ever been a fatal accident anywhere near.

Plus I spent over 5 years in the ambulance service and have seen and had deal with a lot of real death, injury and distress. I can tell you now, it's not like your silly talk about a injured child.

But that doesn't change my opinion that speed cameras do not contribute one thing to increasing road safety.

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Silver badge

Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

well i keep to the speed limit religiously and in 30 years of driving I've only hit 3 children and a dog, not all at once mind you

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Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

Last I checked zebra crossing mean pedestrian priority, so you muppets mowing down kids are transparently not anticipating to stop when you come across one.

Naturally, walking onto the crossing while giving the car only 5ft to stop is pretty stupid, but all the same - why did you not notice the person walking up to the crossing? It not as if they're hiding behind street furniture, waiting to jump out and catch you out.

Sidenote: Here in Switzerland, failure to stop for a pedestrian will get the side of your car kicked regardless of how little notice they give you, and a not-so-polite (or cheap!) visit from the local constabulory shortly afterwards who will "not see" the kick dent. It's a big no-no in other words.

Sidenote 2: It should be be noted I find zebra crossing bloody annoying myself, in case anyone thinks I'm from the "won't someone think of..." brigade.

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Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

well i keep to the speed limit religiously and in 30 years of driving I've only hit 3 children and a dog, not all at once mind you

Joke icon missing? I hope...?

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Meh

Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

Accidents are generally caused by driving too close or too fast for the conditions.

Stopping folks from breaking an arbitrary set speed limit is hardly going to stop the above.

But its a good earner for the government.

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Anonymous Coward

@Silverburn

Here in the UK there is a limited knowledge of what a zebra crossing is. Not from the drivers viewpoint but from pedestrians. Most pedestrians will cross without one and will assume its just as safe because the crossing is 10ft up the road. At least in the areas I have lived/travelled/worked.

I have no problem with people crossing without a crossing as long as they accept the cars have priority. However there seems to be a disagreement on this point which is why pedestrians have so many accidents.

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Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

"Have they changed the rules? I was under the impression that there had to be a number of accidents within a specified time frame - and that there was no verification that the accidents were caused by speeding."

One of the "speed related" accidents listed as the reason for installing a speed camera near me involved a 92-yo driver having a heart attack and croaking at the wheel while negotiating a bend. Another heart attack at the wheel was used as justification for dropping the speed limit slightly further along the road from 70 to 50.

J Clarkeson made a claim a few years back that at least one of the M4 cameras was justified by a pedestrian committing suicide from an overbridge. I didn't believe it at the time but events since then have made me reconsider.

OTOH: If you speed and don't see the bright yellow box then you shouldn't be on the road at all. Ditto tailgaters and mr 35mph-man-in-the-right-hand-lane.

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Meh

Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

I have seen someone die trapped in a car in front of my eyes in a road accident.

It was a very upsetting experience.

Not silly talk. 3000 deaths a year on our roads is pretty amazingly high.

Any other `industry' would be shut down. Back to the incident I saw...

The police got there first, I was putting out the fire on the dripping exhaust pipe on the upside down car.

The ambulance and free service were probably lost (I hear they are pretty bad at navigation generally

I guess Rabiit80 if your are really an ambulance driver, you mostly arrive too late)

But I do think, on a lateral tangent here, that technology may well be the only thing to

reduce road deaths. Automatic braking systems to aid the awful human reaction times, and

monitoring via GPS to prevent people speeding (and doing a runner).

All things just around the corner so to speak.

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Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

> I lose approx 6-7 mins daily each way due to 40mph drivers

> on a main road where it is safe I would expect traffic to maintain 60mph

What is safe for one driver isn't necessarily safe for another.

I was in the Scottish Borders recently, driving on unfamiliar twisting roads and there was no way I or anyone else not familiar with the roads could safely keep a steady 60mph - yet still locals would insist on displays of impatience.

If the driver in front of you has decided that 40mph is a safe speed for the road conditions then, as far as I know, the highway code states he is entitled to drive at that speed. You may overtake him when it is permitted and safe to do so, otherwise there's not much you can do about it - except be patient.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

"I don't condone speeding in built-up / residential areas, but on a main road where it is safe I would expect traffic to maintain 60mph and when it is quiet such as at night, I don't see any issue with breaking the speed limit a little as long as it is safe to do so."

Most accidents are at night on country roads. Road markings and that includes speed limit signs are there to protect you as well. They advise you of whats ahead, ever noticed that the centre line actually changes length depending on the potential danger? Just because you raced around that blind bend the last 10yrs and there wasnt something there doesnt mean there wont be the next time.

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