Hacker Attacks Could Derail Train, Cybersecurity Researchers Say

January 12, 2016

It’s hard to argue with efficiency in tech or transportation. Despite the availability of air freight and commercial trucking services, trains stand out as both efficient and cost-effective when it comes to moving large quantities of material goods.

According to SecurityWeek, however, the supervisory control and data acquisition network (SCADA) systems used by many rail companies are vulnerable to hacker attacks, paving the way for a kind of cyber train robbery. But are cybercriminals really motivated to follow this track? And if so, what’s the impact for SCADA solutions at large?

SCADA systems are an integral part of many enterprise systems, primarily in the energy generation and manufacturing sector. Historically, these systems have been good enough to secure critical components since money-motivated hacking groups had very little to gain by messing with power grids or impacting oil production.

The rise of nation-sponsored and ideologue-based hacktivism, however, has changed the game. Now, malicious actors may target these facilities in an attempt to drive political change or because they’re being paid by groups with specific global or national agendas. As noted by BizTech, the energy sector now faces the legacy of poorly secured SCADA systems and is playing catch-up as it hunts down specific — and often critical — vulnerabilities.

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