New Jersey toll system hacked
- By Eugene Grygo
- Oct 26, 2000
A security breach on the E-ZPass electronic toll system for the New Jersey
Turnpike has led officials to suspend the application pending repairs, according
to a spokesman for the Turnpike Authority.
A programmer and user of the E-ZPass system, Christopher Reagoso, was
able to view account information such as the turnpike usage and names of
the users in the e-mail billing system of the largest electronic toll collection
system in the United States. However, he was not able to access home addresses,
telephone numbers or checking account information.
Reagoso, who lives in Pennsylvania, brought the security glitch to the
attention of a local Philadelphia TV station last week.
"We don't feel there was any criminal intent," said Lynn Fleeger, director
of public affairs for the authority, about the hacking.
The online account statement system will be running again in about a
week or two, when "the proper security measures have been put in place,"
Until then, turnpike customers will be able to retrieve account information
via secured access to the turnpike's Web site and via paper documents, Fleeger
Chase Manhattan Bank is the online customer service contractor for the
E-ZPass site (www.ezpass.com). Chase subcontracted the e-mail billing portion
to PSi Technologies Inc., a provider of systems for posting, processing
and accessing electronic documents.
In a prepared statement, a Chase spokeswoman said the bank has quickly
resolved the security issues and no sensitive information has been disclosed.
Reagoso did not gain access to any password, credit card or other payment
information, according to the spokeswoman.
Chase responded immediately by shutting down the system and is taking
steps to implement additional security features, the spokeswoman said. Testing
will be done prior to resuming operations.
Using wireless technology, the E-ZPass electronic toll collection system
reads account information encoded on an electronic tag stuck to the inside
of motorists' windshields, turnpike officials said. As drivers pass through
E-ZPass toll lanes, an overhead antenna and reader reviews the account information
and deducts tolls from the motorist's prepaid account.
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