Anatomy of a Subway Hack Now Online: MBTA Makes MIT Guide Famous

Image: MIT Students Hack MBTA GuideMy local transit agency, the MBTA, gained a restraining order to keep a group of MIT students from presenting their discovery of just how easy it is to forge credits on the subway’s fare cards.

But since the MBTA filed the students’ paper as part of their complaint, the full text of what they sought to keep secret became public record. Now it’s available online, and yes, it shows lax MBTA security.

The students had notified the MBTA of their findings, made recommendations of how to fix the problem, and proposed to keep elements of their discovery secret so as not to encourage unlawful actions. But rather than commend the students, the agency sought a restraining order to prevent them from sharing their findings.

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