UK Railway Network Suffered Four Cyber-Attacks in the Past Year

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.

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