Tens of thousands of commuters were unable to top up their cards to pay for public transport trips this month, forcing the agency to offer a grace period. Photo: AT

Auckland Transport confirms hackers have made good on their threat to offer up the transport agency’s stolen data on the dark web.

Roger Jones, the executive general manager for business technology, and his team were monitoring the threat overnight, after a group known as Medusa set a deadline of Tuesday 8pm for a ransom payment.

“AT understands that some data may have been made available for buyers overnight, but it is not straightforward to access,” he tells Newsroom.

“We believe that customer and financial data has not been compromised.”

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The agency’s AT Hop electronic ticketing system crashed in the cyber attack earlier this month and is still recovering. Thousands of commuters were unable to top up their cards to pay for public transport trips.

The agency has said it doesn’t yet know how much revenue it has lost, with the cashless transaction system taking in up to $1 million a weekday in card top-ups.

Those customers who use auto top-ups on their Hop cards are asked to reset them if they are receiving an ‘insufficient funds’ notification when they tag on, after the agency rebuilt the Hop system last week.

Customers whose auto top-ups triggered between September 13 and 21 have been disabled, as AT was unable to charge customers’ credit cards during this time. No money has been deducted from customers’ credit or debit cards.

Stacey van der Putten, who heads public transport services for AT, says restoring the disabled payments has been an unforeseen issue. “Essentially, because the system was unable to charge customers for their auto top-up within seven days, the system has reversed the attempted transaction and disabled their auto top-up,” she explains.

“We haven’t charged customers for trips they have not taken, but customers may find they have a negative balance for trips they have taken in the past week that have not been covered by an auto top-up.”

Those customers affected by the auto top-up issue are still allowed to keep travelling on buses, trains and ferries until the end of Wednesday, giving them time to reset them.

Newsroom Pro managing editor Jonathan Milne covers business, politics and the economy.

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