Hack of bike-sharing fleet required 1,660 manual reboots

Some hacks are nightmares, some are just a pain, as bike-sharing service Bycyklen discovered this weekend.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin

Bycyklen posted this sad Android screen from a downed bicycle on its Facebook page.


Over the weekend, Copenhagen-based Bycyklen, a bike-sharing service, experienced a hack that sent employees scurrying to individually reboot the tablet interfaces for all but 200 of the bikes in its fleet of almost 2,000, and tourists scurrying for alternatives.

On its Facebook page, the company said that no data was stolen -- someone simply deleted it all -- overnight Friday local time. Then, after restoring from backups, it posted a statement that said (according to Google Translate), "Unfortunately, we will have to update all the bikes manually. We are heading on the street with every man available on this beautiful sunshine Sunday, but it will take time." 

It's back up and running now, but that sounds like it was a big weekend bummer for the staff.