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No vehicle inspections in Mass. through Sunday due to malware attack on vendor

A person walked up to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles office in Lawrence last summer.
A person walked up to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles office in Lawrence last summer.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The Registry of Motor Vehicles said there will be no vehicle inspections Friday and through the rest of the weekend in Massachusetts due to a problem with a vendor that was attacked by digital malware, officials said.

The agency confirmed the troubling news via Twitter on Thursday night.

“Due to a production issue with our vendor Applus Technologies, inspection stations will be unable to inspect vehicles Friday, 4/2, through Sunday, 4/4. Please visit http://mavehiclecheck.com for more information,” the RMV tweeted.

The agency also said that it had notified law enforcement, and asked for their cooperation in using their discretion to not cite those with an expired sticker who may have visited a station this week. The problem first arose on Wednesday.

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Earlier Thursday, the agency had tweeted a similar message.

“The RMV has been notified by our vehicle inspection vendor (Applus Technologies) of a Vendor production issue that will prevent vehicles from being inspected on Thursday, 4/1,” the RMV tweeted. “The vendor has confirmed that this is a nationwide system issue that they are working to resolve.”

A virtual trip to the website early Friday morning showed users another message about the issue.

“Applus Technologies, Inc. detected and stopped a malware attack which has temporarily interrupted the process of conducting vehicle inspections in Massachusetts and other locations,” the website said. “The restoration involves resetting Applus Technologies’ IT environment and will take some time to fully restore the safety and emissions stations to testing capabilities. We know our customers and vehicle owners rely on our technology and we are committed to restoring normal operations as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The 60-day retest requirement, the site said,will be extended during this time. Massachusetts Vehicle Check Customer Service (1-844-358-0135 or ContactUs@MAVehicleCheck.com) will be kept up-to-date on the current Program status and available to assist with questions. Information will be provided on this website when stations are able to begin testing again.”

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In a statement issued Thursday afternoon around 2:40 p.m., MassDOT said the RMV “continues to urge its vendor, Applus Technologies, to provide a timeline to resolution and confirmation of the extent of this nationwide system outage impacting citizens in need of a vehicle inspection, and the small businesses who run inspection stations in Massachusetts. Recognizing the inconvenience Applus’ outage is causing, the RMV has been in communication with law enforcement to request cooperation and discretion in citing those with an expired sticker who may have attempted to visit a station this week.”

Applus had addressed the matter Wednesday in a separate statement.

The company, the statement said, “detected and stopped a malware attack which has temporarily interrupted the process of conducting vehicle inspections in Massachusetts and other locations. The restoration involves resetting Applus Technologies’ IT environment and will take some time to fully restore the functionality of vehicle inspections.”

The Massachusetts RMV said Thursday that historically, motor vehicle inspections average about 15,000 per day statewide, with up to 20,000 or more inspections conducted on the first two days of the month and last two days.

Officials said they estimate there are between 40,000 to 50,000 vehicles that may still have a March sticker and require an inspection.



Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follower her on Twitter @brittbowker.