On Sunday, April 3rd, the principal Dutch passenger railway operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) suspended trains for hours reporting the failure of IT systems, as a reason.
The reported IT failure occurred later on Sunday morning impacting the scheduling systems that provide timetables for trains and staff.
“This system is important for safe and scheduled operations: if there is an incident somewhere, the system adjusts itself accordingly. This was not possible due to the failure,” explains NS.
International trains were not impacted by the IT incident.
A cyberattack or system error?
Without commenting on whether this ‘failure’ resulted from a cyberattack, NS said in a statement:
“Although the cause of the failure has now been resolved, the impact is considerable. To be able to start up reliably, systems must be updated and trains must be brought to the right place. That takes time. For our passengers, this is extremely unpleasant news. The expectation is that tomorrow morning the normal timetable can largely be resumed. The night trains can still run.”
In subsequent tweets, the train operator confirms that trains most journeys now resumed normally and advises passengers to keep an eye on its website and app for timetables:
Threat actors and ransomware groups targeting public transport systems has become a common occurrence.
In late 2020, Metro Vancouver’s transit network, TransLink was hit by Egregor ransomware, disrupting passenger services and payments.
Last year, Liverpool’s rail network Merseyrail was hit with a cyberattack, reportedly from the Lockbit ransomware.
Security Report has reached out to NS trains to find out more.
Update April 4th, 08:49 AM BST: Added tweets from NS with updated information.