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Railway systems have become vulnerable to the simplest form of cyber attack - one that can easily be mastered by relatively unskilled teenage hackers.
Anyone who knows how to unleash a 'denial of service' attack could bring train services to a standstill, a German security expert said this week.
The vulnerability is due to mobile phone signals used to link railway switching systems together - and would allow hackers to cause massive service disruption.
'Denial of service' campaigns are one of the simplest forms of cyber attack - where hackers recruit large numbers of computers to overwhelm the targeted system with Internet traffic.
The attacks require far less skill than penetrating a computer network or writing malicious software.
Hackers have used the approach to attack sites of government agencies around the world and sites of businesses.
Stefan Katzenbeisser, professor at Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany, said switching systems were at risk of 'denial of service' attacks, which could cause long disruptions to rail services.
'Trains could not crash, but service could be disrupted for quite some time,' said Katzenbeisser
Originally posted by PhoenixOD
Computer hackers 'could bring rail network to a standstill' warns security expert - but would we even notice?
"This is just one of many events that occur almost on a weekly basis," said Sean McGurk, former director of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. "While it may be nice to speculate that it was caused by a nation-state or actor, it may be the unintended consequence of maintenance," he said.