'Disgruntled' former employee suspected of hacking tourist railroad surveys

Trains Industry Newsletter
Get a weekly roundup of the industry news you need.
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine. View our privacy policy.
An Adirondack Scenic Railroad locomotive and train.
Alex Mayes
UTICA, N.Y. — A recent hack of a portion of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad's website that surveys customers about their train-riding experience, appears to have been done by a former employee.

The railroad believes that "a disgruntled former employee who had access to the site by virtue of passwords" changed wording on a survey question to give it a negative meaning, says Bill Branson, board president of the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, which operates the railroad. The passwords have been changed, Branson adds.

The railroad routinely sends a survey to people who ride its popular Polar Express train. A question that usually reads "How much do you love the Polar Express?" was changed to read "How much do you hate the Polar Express?" according to a news account that aired Nov. 30 on Utica's WKTV.

The railroad says no personal information of customers was exposed in the hack. The survey language was promptly corrected.

"Nothing was hacked in a personal way. The survey is completely separate," says ASR Executive Director Jack Roberson, in footage aired by WKTV.

The railroad is in an ongoing dispute with some residents in upstate New York who want to have a 34-mile portion of the ASR's state-owned tracks removed to make way for a rail trail. A meeting of the Adirondack Park Agency, which is proposing an amendment to governing language that would help facilitate removal of the tracks, is set for Dec. 13 to 14.
Leave a Comment
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of TrainsMag.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Please keep your feedback on-topic and respectful. Trains staffers reserve the right to edit or delete any comments.


The Genesee & Wyoming 

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy
Subscribe Up To 58% off the newsstand price!
Subscribe To Trains Mag Today