UK rail network suffers four cyber-attacks in past 12 months

The UK rail network has been hit by cyber-attacks at least four times in the past 12 months.

No disruption has been caused to the UK rail network. However Darktrace, responsible for defending the rail network, discovered the attacks and said that exploration of the network was taking place.

It is unclear who was behind the attacks, but a hacker with access to the network may be able to change the behaviour of trains. The attacks are thought to be the work of hackers sponsored by nation states.

The Telegraph reported that the attackers seemed to be exploring the computer systems and didn't attempt disruption of any sort.

A spokesman for Network Rail said, “Britain has the safest major railway in Europe and cyber-security is a key part of our plan for introducing digital train control technology.”

Trent Telford, CEO of Covata said comments emailed to SCMagazineUK.com, “the multiple cyber-attacks on the UK rail network within the past year shows just how important it is to secure data and stringently manage access rights in our increasingly connected world. With the internet of things becoming more of a reality as every day passes, the scope for an attacker to move around a network and harness control of systems is increasing. This is particularly worrying for critical infrastructure industries, where if a connected system is compromised it could cause mass disruption.”