Cyber Attack | Data Breach

Published on April 25th, 2015 📆 | 6842 Views ⚑


UK rail signals could be hacked to cause crashes

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Hackers could hijack a rail signal system being tried out in the UK to cause train crashes, an expert has warned.

A new digital system aimed to make lines safer, could be exposed to malicious software, or malware, used to cause a "nasty accident," an expert has warned.

The internet security expert at City University said government ministers feared the possible threat of hacking and the biggest could come from an insider.

He told the broadcaster: "It's the clever malware that actually alters the way the train will respond. So, it will perhaps tell the system the train is slowing down, when it's speeding up."

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"Governments aren't complacent. Certain ministers know this is absolutely possible and they are worried about it. Safeguards are going in, in secret, but it's always possible to get around them.

"The weakness is getting malware into the system by employees. Either because they are dissatisfied or being bribed or coerced."

Network Rail, in charge of the upgrade which is expected be operational by the 2020s, said it acknowledged the threat.

"We know that the risk (of a cyber attack) will increase as we continue to roll out digital technology across the network," a spokesman told the BBC.

"We work closely with government, the security services, our partners and suppliers in the rail industry and external cyber-security specialists to understand the threat to our systems and make sure we have the right controls in place."

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