July 18, 2016
Unknown hackers breached the UK railway network four times in the last twelve months, according to Darktrace, a British cyber-security firm, quoted by The Telegraph and Sky News.
According to Darktrace, the attacks were only basic reconnaissance operations, intrusions to detect a network’s internal structure and to gather information for future attacks. The company also doesn’t exclude that these intrusions were only accidental.
Previous to the UK, attacks on a country’s railway network were detected in Ukraine this past winter, as part of the infamous BlacEnergy attacks that also targeted the country’s energy grid and airports.
Railway networks are part of a country’s transportation system and are considered “critical infrastructure.”
In the case of a real cyber-war, railway networks, along with smart roads and airports, are most certainly going to face cyber-attacks, along with the other critical infrastructure sectors such as energy, water supply, oil & gas, communications, the chemical sector, food & agriculture, healthcare, and emergency services.
Attacks on a railway network’s infrastructure are technically possible
This past December, at the 32nd Chaos Communication Congress (32C3) in Germany, Russian security researchers from SCADA StrangeLove presented a series of attacks that could cripple a railway network.