Montrealers Are Worried That The New STM Opus Card Readers Can Be Hacked

Montrealers are rejoicing this morning after finding out that you can buy a device which will allow you to reload your opus cards from home. It's no wonder people are happy, reloading a card can be a nightmare. No more running to the nearest station in a panic and no more waiting in seemingly endless lines. Sounds pretty good right? Or does it? Well as it turns out, you have voiced your concerns and it's worth exploring the value of this new "convenience".

Bigger companies are at risk, so why not the STM? When Starbucks rolled out their app that let's you check out with your phone, it was quickly hacked by criminals. And they didn't just steal users' Starbucks money, they used the app to infiltrate users' PayPal and drained their entire bank accounts.

It's also important to remember that Quebec is notorious for card fraud. Pre-paid credit card fraud is so common in Quebec that the SAQ has recently decided to stop accepting them all together because they are unable to prevent these kinds of scams from happening. This doesn't exactly give me peace of mind considering the STM and the SAQ are both run by the government.

So what about the STM's track record? After all, they do have impeccably flawless services that never get shut down, they never have any technical issues and they're system never crashes because of their amazing software. In case you couldn't tell that was sarcasm, those things actually happen constantly. And yes, I realize this has nothing to do with online transactions but it has everything to do with the way the STM is managed in general. The lack of oversight is staggering.

But who knows, maybe this system is perfect and there's absolutely no risk of fraud. I guess you have to ask yourself: do you have any concerns about the STM Opus card being hackable?

The Quebec government is going to pump a ton of cash into Montreal-area public transit authorities in an effort to, hopefully, make your transit commute better. Chantal Rouleau, Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for the Metropolitan Area and the Montreal Region, announced a $24.8 million financial contribution for mitigation measures in public and active transportation.

"Because public transit is a sustainable solution to road congestion, it is essential for us to maintain the mitigation measures that have been implemented and that have proven their worth," Rouleau said in a press release.

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