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Still no car inspections due to hacked vendor

WBZ reports the car-inspection system in Massachusetts is still down, and could be until at least tomorrow.

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Sounds like Applus is being held hostage?

No basis for this other than my gut instinct, but 6+ days to repair maleware seems a little long.

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Voting closed 14

Depends on how bad it is. Some are destructive & you will need to rebuild servers. Backups take time to restore & verify data. Especially something like this where PI could have been breached.

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Voting closed 8

If the attack was one that was delayed/triggered, then standing up yesterday's backup is pointless...the attack already happened before then and they can just trigger the attack again.

You have to figure out what hit you, how they did it, and how far back do you have to go for a clean image. Then, if you went far enough back, you have to figure out what is recoverable/non-recoverable and recover and potentially re-insert the data into the database/system. That's not usually something you just have tools lying around for because loading data is usually not a bulk operation. It has a programmed method for arriving and is expected at a certain rate from the programming. You might even have to custom code a solution on the fly.

We'd all love to have every nuance of a recovery plan worked out in advance, but aside from destroying a copy of a production system (which wouldn't even be the same as production because you wouldn't want it to mingle with the actual production data, etc.) and then doing nothing else except programming all the solutions you might ever need in a crisis (while your competitors pass you/outperform you/bid lower/etc.), well, you cover as many bases as possible and now that if the truly worst case scenario happens, you're going to spend some time cleaning it up.

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Voting closed 16

Not related to the outage, but I'm trying to decide if I should file a complaint against my local inspection station. They charged a little more than $35, and then tacked a credit card fee on top of that. I didn't notice right away since there was some other work included in the bill.

I'm annoyed that they sneaked in a higher price than the state allows. On the other hand, they're a local business risking their health during a pandemic to keep my car running.

What's the UHub consensus?

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It seems dishonest to add those charges. My first reaction is that if they do that, they're probably OK with other dishonest practices, and that could cost you a lot of money. I have stopped going to a mechanic (after years of patronage) because of what looked to me like a scam.

Fraud is rampant in the auto repair industry, and it isn't limited to independent garages. People with little mechanical knowledge are particularly vulnerable. If you find a genuinely trustworthy mechanic or dealership, treasure them. That shady garage that I abandoned had recently been bought from its long-time owner, who had always given reliable service.

As for their risking their health during a pandemic, I'd say their risk is pretty low, compared to other jobs that have more interaction with the public. It's simple to distance themselves from customers, and to wipe down any surfaces of a car that are potentially contaminated.

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Voting closed 2

I'd also find it kind of suspicious, but I'd at least start by asking them about the charges and what reasons they added the fee. Then based on that you can decide if you need to contact the state, just stop going to that mechanic, or maybe you'll realize its a reasonable charge.

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Voting closed 4