The Price of Convenience: How Security Vulnerabilities in Global Transportation Payment Systems Can Cost You

Conference:  Defcon 31


Authors:   Omer Attias Security Researcher at SafeBreach


Public transportation payment systems have undergone significant changes over the years. Recently, mobile payment solutions have become increasingly popular, allowing passengers to pay for their fare using their smartphones or other mobile devices. The evolution of public transportation payment systems has been driven by the need for faster, more convenient, and more secure payment methods, and this trend is likely to continue in the years to come, But how secure are mobile payment solutions for public transportation? In this presentation, we will examine the security risks associated with transportation applications, using Moovit as a case study. Moovit is a widely used transportation app operating in over 100 countries and 5000+ cities. Through our investigation of the app's API, including SSL-encrypted data, we discovered specific vulnerabilities, which we will discuss. We will also demonstrate a custom user interface that can obtain a "free ticket" and cause someone else to pay. Furthermore, we will explain how an attacker could gain unauthorized access to and exfiltrate Personal Identifiable Information (PII) of registered users. Our findings offer practical recommendations to improve the security of transportation apps.