Free parking in the city centre. Sounds too good to be true? Not in Antwerp. Because of the breach, the city was unable to collect parking fines for a month. It is unclear how many hikers actually benefited from this.
Among other things, checking parking in the city is difficult because “the systems are not linked.” Here’s what Antwerp’s mobility councilor, Koen Kines, tells the VRT team. People who park their cars without paying cannot be fined. As a result, the city has already lost an estimated €1.2m in the last four weeks.
On December 6, the computer systems of the municipality of Antwerp were hacked. Hacker Joint Play has claimed responsibility and threatened to make citizens’ personal data public. The municipal group demanded a ransom to prevent disclosure.
After an investigation by the municipality, it turned out that no sensitive data had been stolen, but a month after the hack, the problems are not over yet.
Large crowds are expected in the city in the coming days due to the post-holiday sales. The municipality invites visitors to park on the outskirts of the city and take a tram to the city center.
Despite the problems, the city continues to enforce parking controls. “In any case, we can fine you for incorrect parking,” said local councilor Kennis.
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