Here we go again, another week of not getting inspection stickers because the bad guys, who get an A-plus at their thievery, are smarter than Applus Technologies of Shrewsbury after the malware attackers forced the company to crash the inspection testing program.

As a result, about 40,000 to 50,000 vehicles with expired March stickers won't be able to get an inspection until April 17. We were told well over a week ago that this "pause" would be fixed in a matter of days. In the meantime, the Registry of Motor Vehicles is giving drivers of vehicles with stickers that expired in March, and vehicles purchased on or after March 23, until April 30 to get an inspection sticker.

Motorists are growing frustrated and the inspectors at all the 1,800 gas stations and garages across the Commonwealth are more than infuriated because they make a reasonable amount of their income from inspection and rejection stickers. Soon, there'll be a traffic jam waiting for inspections because we're already into April.

What's troubling me is, why are the outlaws smarter and better at what they do than what the creators of the software do? The term used is hacking, but I call it stealing. These bad actors now have the banking information from all the inspection stations and who knows what else?

There were breaches of information before the days of ransomware and malware. I get it, but what's distressing is all it takes is one criminal to shut down and hold hostage something like a vehicle inspection program, then it stands to reason that, unless the good guys smarten up over and above the wrongdoers, then so much more is at stake than a vehicle inspection.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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