WannaCry virus inadvertenly helps Australian drivers avoid speeding tickets

Despite taking down more than 300,000 computers around the world in over 150 countries, affecting countless organizations, the WannaCry ransomware may have helped some unwitting Australian motorists.

Fifty-five traffic cameras near inner-city Melbourne were affected by the ransomware after a maintenance worker unknowingly uploaded the virus.

As a result, 590 speeding tickets and those for running a red-light were cancelled, according to Victorian Police.


In a statement provided to the BBC, Acting Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther said he canceled the tickets because "I think it's important the public has 100% confidence in the system."

The ransomware, which asks for $300 in Bitcoin to be shut down, was noticed by police when they saw the cameras were rebooting often.

WannaCry was first detected in March, but it was reported as being stolen from the United States National Security Agency a month later.

Older versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system were affected by the ransomware, but surprisingly, Windows XP, released in 2001, was not affected.