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Are we alert to the risks of transport’s IT connectivity?

Recent events have renewed questions about whether existing and evolving transport IT systems are sufficiently protected against cyber attacks and other computer failures, as Rhodri Clark reports

Rhodri Clark
09 June 2017
Each of Network Rail’s 12 new Rail Operating Centres will control huge chunks of the rail network. NR has taken steps to mitigate the risk of system failures
Hackers may try to control autonomous vehicles or disrupt infrastructure, such as traffic signals
Hackers may try to control autonomous vehicles or disrupt infrastructure, such as traffic signals

 

The entire Manchester Metrolink system was shut down one afternoon last month after an information technology (IT) failure resulted in the control room being unable to see the position of trams. The incident might have received more media attention had it not occurred on the quietest day of the week, a Sunday, and only two days after an unrelated ransomware attack disrupted organisations worldwide including the NHS, train operator Deutsche Bahn in Germany, and logistics company FedEx.

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