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Hackers run away with fuel stolen in Washington | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Almost every day, news agencies report cyber incidents involving cyber criminals stealing sensitive data or extorting businesses with ransomware attacks. However, this is not exactly the cyber problem experienced by a small gas station located in the small town of Moses Lake, Washington. And no, the story does not involve debit card skimming devices either.

The gas theft operation: how it happened

Compromising the pumps

Local news agency Source One reported that earlier this month, cybercriminals managed to hack into the gas pumps at the One Stop Mart and get away with thousands of gallons of gas worth over $10,000. Diesel-thirsty bad actors compromised multiple diesel pumps at the gas station for about 24 hours. The gas station is popular among locals, who use it not only to fuel tanks but also to purchase groceries, liquor, and newspapers.

No data breach detected

As of this moment, there is no information on whether the thieves have been able to steal the personal information of any of the customers of the mini-market chain located at 5219 Patton Blvd NE, Moses Lake, WA 98837. It appears that the hackers likely only managed to break into the gas pumps by compromising the pumps’ Bluetooth agents. No internal gas station systems were compromised, and there have been no reports of stolen banking and credit card details. 

Discovery of the incident

In a statement to Source One. The business owner, Kamaljit Singh, confirmed that he only discovered the issue after inspecting the diesel fuel tanks and realized that they had been switched to manual mode. Kamaljit believes the scammers were located in a vehicle in close proximity to the affected pumps. He is actively working with the police to identify the perpetrators.

Similar incidents and broader implications

Previous gas pump hacks

A similar incident was detected last year at a gas station in Detroit. A man managed to steal approximately 800 gallons by overwriting the gas pump system of one of the tanks. Once in control, the scammer opened up the pump. Essentially allowing anyone to get as much gas as they wanted completely free of charge.

This is likely what happened at One Stop Mart, too. But the damages appear to be at a larger scale as the breach remained unnoticed for a long time. Which allowed the thieves and possibly unsuspecting customers to pump gas for free for hours. The folks at One Stop Mart will not be going after any customers who managed to pump gas for free but are actively trying to discover the identity of the bad actors who hacked into the pumps.

Read also: Hackers outsmart smart locks

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