June 16, 2021

Volume XI, Number 167

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Another Attack on Critical Infrastructure – New York’s Subway Hacked

In April, New York’s subway authority was hacked by a group of cybercriminals with suspected Chinese government connections. The authority is responsible for operating all of New York’s train and bus systems and the attack exposed vulnerabilities in the services used by millions every day.

Fortunately, the authority operates a multi-layered security system which reportedly prevented the attack from spreading to other related systems. It’s been reported that the attack didn’t compromise any personal information of customers or employees and didn’t involve any ransom or demands.

It’s still not clear why the authority was targeted, but reports in the New York Times have suggested two theories: (1) that the motivation for the attack could have been related to China’s rail car production industry and gaining an understanding of the authority’s tendering process / contract awarding system; (2) seemingly unlikely, that the hackers simply entered the system by accident and when they found it was of little interest, left without taking any action.

This is just one in dozens of attacks on US critical infrastructure this year. In May, the American Colonial Pipeline Company was hacked which you find out more about in our blog here. These kinds of attacks are becoming more and more prevalent and both public and private organisations need to protect themselves; and as can be seen with the FBI’s response to that hack, governments whose resident companies are being attacked are also becoming increasingly responsive and sophisticated in their responses as they seek to coordinate the collective defences.

Copyright 2021 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 159
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About this Author

Cameron Abbott, Technology, Attorney, Australia, corporate, KL Gates Law Firm
Partner

Mr. Abbott is a corporate lawyer who focuses on technology, telecommunications and broadcasting transactions. He assists corporations and vendors in managing their technology requirements and contracts, particularly large outsourcing and technology procurements issues including licensing terms for SAP and Oracle and major system integration transactions.

Mr. Abbott partners with his clients to ensure market leading solutions are implemented in to their businesses. He concentrates on managing and negotiating complex technology solutions, which...

+61.3.9640.4261
Rob Pulham Corporate Attorney K&L Gates
Special Counsel

Rob Pulham is an experienced corporate advisory and transactional lawyer with an active technology and privacy practice representing companies in the energy, manufacturing, mining, retail, health and financial services sectors, as well as government and not for profit organisations. He has extensive experience advising customers and vendors in the technology industry, with particular focus on software licensing, data privacy and protection, and systems integration projects. In his role as a senior corporate lawyer, Mr. Pulham reviews organisational policies and practices...

61-3-9640-4414
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