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 …

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  1. Silverburn
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In the UK

      Speed camera malware is more low tech.

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

      1. Psyx
        Stop

        Re: In the UK

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

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

        1. Fuzz

          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.

          1. Psyx
            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.

            1. jake Silver badge

              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 ;-)

              1. Psyx

                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.

            2. Wzrd1
              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.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In the UK

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

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

    2. Mike Flugennock
      Thumb Up

      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.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        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.

    3. Chemist
      Joke

      Suspect it's spread by ..

      A drive-by download !

    4. phuzz Silver badge
      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.

  2. g e
    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...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        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.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          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).

        2. WonkoTheSane
          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".

      2. Psyx
        Thumb Up

        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.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Most excellent

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

        2. Lee D Silver badge

          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.

          1. Psyx
            Thumb Up

            Re: Most excellent

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

    3. Bobthe2nd

      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.

    4. Someone Else Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Most excellent

      Mmmmmm...detcord....

    5. Wzrd1

      Re: Most excellent

      Detcord?!?!

      What a waste of a useful thing.

      Have a proper fireworks display, use thermite.

  3. frank ly Silver badge

    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.

    1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      Re: Do your civic duty

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

    2. InsaneGeek
      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

      1. TheVogon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Do your civic duty

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

  4. jon 68
    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.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. robin48gx
      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....

      1. Rabbit80

        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.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

          Bet those children soon add up as well.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

            @Dan55 sez 'Bet those children soon add up as well.' As well as whom ?

          2. phuzz Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

            "Bet those children soon add up as well."

            Nope, have you seen the recent results for maths GCSEs?

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          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.

        4. Fink-Nottle
          Thumb Down

          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.

          1. jake Silver badge

            @Fink-Nottle (was: Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

            "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."

            Here in the States, that's known as "impeding the flow of traffic", and is a ticket-able moving violation (points on license, higher insurance, etc.). Counter-intuitively, you can get a ticket for doing the speed limit whilst holding up drivers behind you who want to go over the limit. That's not to say that speeding is legal, mind ... it just means that it's not up to any one individual to decide how fast (or slow) anybody else is allowed to drive. In other words, slow-poke, pull over & let faster traffic pass! It'll save everybody a few blood-pressure points.

            1. Fink-Nottle

              Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

              Interesting, Jake - and I take your point. Indeed one of my gripes is that UK cops will often ignore traffic driving below the signposted minimum speed on motorways. However, in the UK the Highway Code states :

              "The speed limit is the absolute maximum and does not mean it is safe to drive at that speed irrespective of conditions. Driving at speeds too fast for the road and traffic conditions is dangerous. You should always reduce your speed when

              - the road layout or conditions present hazards, such as bends

              - weather conditions make it safer to do so"

              I agree with you, pull over when possible. In fact, it's often better to follow someone when you don't know the road. Unfortunately, pulling over is not always an option on single lane roads (like the A7 I mentioned in my previous post) and it's better to drive defensively if you're unfamiliar with the road.

              1. AceRimmer

                Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

                Indeed one of my gripes is that UK cops will often ignore traffic driving below the signposted minimum speed on motorways

                Apart from a couple of exceptions there are no minimum speed limits on any UK roads including the motorway

                There is a mention of not holding up traffic if you are driving a slow moving vehicle but it is not law

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

                  and those people who sit in the middle lane on motorways at 60mph, when the inside is clear for miles and enhance the congestion for everyone else out of sheer laziness.

              2. micheal

                Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

                rare (except tunnel approaches) to find a signposted minimum on UK motorways

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

              Not sure if that's a state thing, or a fed thing?

              All I know is that, here in the UK, the last time I let someone behind me decide how fast I was driving, I crashed. Never let anyone behind you dictate your driving style, it doesn't end well. Your car may well not have the same capabilities as the people behind you.

              In my particular case, I drive a Mk1 Japanese import of the MX-5 - for those who don't know it's rear wheel drive, 1.8l and weighs about 950Kg... I had just turned on to a road when someone came up behind me alarmingly fast, so I didn't slow down as early as I would have to take a turn, I knew the car could do the corner breaking hard and late, but I wouldn't have chosen to and I would have been right not to. The road had greasy grime on it and the wheels stopped, but the car didn't, not until it collided with a 4x4 at the junction. Totally my fault, I would have much rather the idiots behind me suffer the collision.

              Don't let this happen to you - No-one knows what state the roads are in, even if last time it was fine, there is nothing to say that this time the road isn't covered in diesel. You are the only person who knows your ability (hopefully) and that of your car in the conditions.

            3. Matt Bridge-Wilkinson
              Pint

              Re: @Fink-Nottle (was: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras)

              We have a similar offence if you are driving too slowly for the traffic, i.e doing 40mph on a 70mph motorway is clearly dangerous. They tend to be more motorways and dual carriageways. However American roads from my experience (and I only have driving in Michigan to go by) are all mostly very long, straight and a lot wider with no kerb stones.

              Come over and drive the winding UK country lanes that the post was referring to and you will quickly understand why doing the speed limit without knowing the road, would be dangerous. Doing 60mph is something you can do safely if you know the road well and even then its not always safe to do that as you can't see around bends due to hedges, trees and stone walls. I've had friends from the USA visit they found our country roads quite intimidating, in fact they ended up wrecking the wheels on their hire car on the kerbs even around town. I took them around the same roads with me driving and they found my speed and cornering scary even though I wasn't breaking the limit. Different world here road wise, we don't have the block system, roads wind all over the shop unfortunately. Not always comparable.

              Pint icon because the world is full of interesting differences.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras

            I used to work in LaPalma on the telescopes (at 7500ft) and we used to drive around mountain bends (with literally 300ft shear drops on the side of the road) at about 60mph, tyres screeching etc.

            Very often would have to emergency brake for a terrified tourist going round at 20 mph in a hire car:

            but we did know the roads very well, every day, a 40 min drive (well if you were good).

            Visiting astro-physiscists used

            to crash alot; we kind of thought that was funny.; until one went over a cliff and died...(see plaque on the side of WHT).

          3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: 3.2 Million reasons to love speed cameras @Fink-Nottle

            I recently moved up Scotland, and I'm spending a lot of time doing the decent thing - pulling over as soon as possible to let the obvious locals past. To do otherwise is just to be an utter bastard.

            It is a shame that the driving standards in general are so piss-poor: indicators as an optional extra, never letting anyone out into traffic, waiting for a written invitation before pulling out onto a roundabout yet pulling out of T-junctions like a bat out of hell then slowing down to 10mph below the safe speed/speed limit on a totally straight road. I'm starting to wonder if the old saw about Scots and alcohol consumption is true.

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