Motor vehicle inspections in eight states were stalled after emissions testing company Applus+ Technologies suffered a malware attack which took state systems, including those in Massachusetts and Connecticut, offline.
According to Applus+, “On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, Applus detected and stopped a malware attack which temporarily interrupted the process of conducting vehicle inspections. Our first step was to contain the problem by locking down the entire system as soon as the issue was detected.”
The emissions testing system, developed by Applus+ Technologies, which bills itself as “a worldwide leader in the testing, inspection and certification sector,” was first put into place at all Massachusetts state inspection sites in October of 2017. Business owners, who paid into buying the equipment needed for the new system, ran into issues during the initial rollout phase. These issues ended up costing small businesses customers.
The current issues with Applus+’s system comes at the end of the month, a time when many car inspection locations do the most business. One business owner told WCVB that he was shocked at just how long the system has been down, which at the time of this writing has been almost an entire week.
Last year, shops were hit even harder when the state shut down inspections for six weeks due to the pandemic.
Massachusetts’ Registry of Motor Vehicles website noted on Tuesday that “We know the vehicle safety and emissions inspection stations and vehicle owners rely on our technology and we are committed to focusing all of our combined efforts on resolving this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” and that “Throughout these phases, Applus and the RMV are working together to ensure that every aspect is fully reviewed and evaluated for a safe and secure return to Program testing.”
According to a post by the RMV, the state has notified law enforcement of the issue and asked “for consideration for expired stickers to ensure motorists do not face fines or penalties as a result of the system being down.”