600 Gallons of Gas Stolen in an Apparent Hack

Police looking for two suspects in Detroit who may have used remote device
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2018 12:17 PM CDT
A sign shows the posted price at a Richland, Miss., filling station, Monday, April 23, 2018.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(Newser) – Thieves were somehow able to hack into a gas pump in Detroit last month and steal 600 gallons of gas over a period of about 90 minutes right in the middle of the day. It's not clear exactly what happened at the Marathon station on June 23, but clerk Aziz Awadh tells Fox 2 Detroit he couldn't do anything as 10 vehicles came through and filled up from the free-flowing pump, making off with about $1,800 worth of gas. "I tried to stop it here from the screen but the screen's not working," he recalls. "I tried to stop it from the system; nothing working." He was finally able to use an emergency kit to shut down the pump, then notify police. Click On Detroit reports that police are searching for two suspects who allegedly gained control of the pump with some kind of remote device.

It's not clear whether the 10 vehicles got the gas for free, paid the hackers, or were in on the scheme. Police are investigating. Gizmodo reports that the fuel management software used by gas stations has long been considered a target for hackers, because many of the interfaces are web-based and not password-protected, making it easy for someone to hijack them. But it's not clear what remote device the hackers might have used to take control of the pump, or how the hackers were able to keep the attendant from shutting things down. Fortune reports that such crimes are becoming more common, with at least two other similar gas thefts in the news recently. But security website CSO raises some questions about the Detroit story, including how so much gas could have been taken by just 10 vehicles. (Read more hackers stories.)

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