CZ/SK verze

New challenges for rail: Czech rail operator ČD Cargo organised a seminar on cybercrime with NCOZ

New challenges for rail: Czech rail operator ČD Cargo organised a seminar on cybercrime with NCOZ
photo: Preemptive/ New challenges for rail: Czech rail operator ČD Cargo organised a seminar on cybercrime with NCOZ
04 / 09 / 2022

Hybrid warfare brings new challenges for all sectors, including rail. One such challenge is cyber-attacks, which tend to be waged against state institutions. That is why Czech national rail operator ČD Cargo decided to organise a coordination seminar led by specialists from the National Centre against Organised Crime (Národní centrála proti organizovanému zločinu - NCOZ).

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in several cyber attacks, and it is not always possible to trace their source. Often these attacks are conducted by Russia, China or Iran, countries that are, more or less explicitly, opposed to Western countries in a hybrid war. The NCOZ report says that nearly 10,000 cyber attacks were recorded last year alone. The Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic saw this for itself in May, when the damage associated with the restoration of the system ran into tens of millions of crowns.

What if next time hackers find another victim, for example, Czech Railways? ČD Cargo did not wait for anything and, according to the motto luck favours the prepared, organised the coordination seminar for all companies of the ČD Group led by cybercrime specialists from NCOZ. It was attended by managers of ČD, ČD Cargo, ČD Telematics, Railway Administration and also the chairwoman of the board of directors of DVI Radka Drápelová. Tomáš Tóth, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ČD Cargo, said: "ČD Cargo and other companies from the Czech Railways group are so-called operators of the basic service of the state according to the Cyber Security Act. Protection against cyber attacks is therefore crucial for us."

Cybercrime specialists have mentioned, among other things, that these attacks are, in most cases, a violation of Section 230 on unauthorised access to a computer system and information carrier and the related Section 175 on extortion. If such an attack has already occurred, one should act immediately. As confirmed by a representative of the NCOZ Cybercrime Section: "An attacker in cyberspace is always one step ahead of others. That is why a quick response from the company's management and a report to the Czech Police, among others, is crucial. It is the best chance of preventing further damage. It is always essential for the police to proceed in cooperation with the institution concerned."

It is good that ČD and its group companies are not slacking off in this respect. If a cyber-attack on ČD were to occur, it could have immeasurable consequences, especially in the context of how digitalisation is progressing on the railways and the new possibilities for attacks that come with it. For example, to affect or block the entire rail traffic management system to cause accidents or cripple the railway. It is, therefore, important not to underestimate the preparation. "We are constantly improving our cyber protection. For me, we must work as if the attacker is already on the network and be prepared for possible scenarios. Coordination between us and state institutions is an important element," added Tomáš Tóth.