Swedish transport sector targeted by cyber attacks

  • Roman Šulc
  • 18.10.2017 08:41

On 11 and 12 October, representatives of the Swedish transport sector became victims of DDoS attacks which disrupted some customer services and led to serious train delays. The first attack, recorded during the early morning hours on Wednesday 11 October, hit the Sweden Transport Administration (Trafikverket). The torrent of internet traffic reportedly caused a collapse of the IT system managing train positions, causing the agency to react by stopping or delaying trains. Another result of the attack was a crash of the institution's website which prevented passengers from booking tickets and obtaining information about the delays. On 12 October the Sweden Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) and the Västtrafik company who provides train, bus, and ferry services in parts of Western Sweden also fell victims to DDoS attacks resulting in short-term outages of their web pages.

Online vandalism is suggested as a possible explanation of the incidents since DDoS attacks are very easy to conduct even without deeper technical know-how. Another explanation is that the campaign served to test the resistance of the Swedish transport system's components and the impact of the attacks. In this context, the Russian Federation is considered a possible perpetrator as the timing and target selection would hint a possible connection with the recent Russian West 2017 exercise.

About author: Roman Šulc

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