Spy boss warns of cyber attacks on smart cities

Smart city graphics

Cities are increasingly dependent on sensors and other networked devices that supply data to central systems.

The National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) warns that smart cities are targeted by hackers and need to prepare a council.

Sensors and devices connected to the Internet can improve urban services, but they can also be used by hackers and foreign states for confusion and espionage.

NCSC-GCHQ arm-has Published guidance How to protect what the local government calls a “connected place”.

They warn that important public services need to be protected from disruption.

Sensitive data also needs to be prevented from being stolen in large numbers.

A rural environment connected to a smart city promises many benefits. Sensors monitor pollution and provide real-time information about parking lots. The camera tracks traffic and manages traffic flow.

This should improve efficiency and help local governments become more sustainable.

Italian work

However, increasing reliance on technology also poses risks. The NCSC warns of possible “catastrophic effects” if the system is turned off, and in some cases even “endangers” the occupants.

Another concern is that large amounts of data about the people collected can compromise privacy or be stolen by criminals and hostile nations by allowing them to track their citizens further.

The road to which the car is connected

Increased connections between cars and transportation infrastructure can cause hackers to create traffic jams

Dr. Ian Levy, NCSC’s technical director, claims that one of the first Hollywood depictions of cyberattacks was against critical infrastructure.

He’s not a recent James Bond movie, but a computer professor (played by Benny Hill) switching magnetic storage tapes running traffic in the Italian city of Turin to carry stolen gold.

“A similar” gridlock “attack on 21st-century cities will have a devastating effect on the people who live and work there. Criminals will not need physical access to traffic control systems to do so. ” Dr. Levy warns on his blog.

“These connected physical environments have just emerged in the UK, so it’s time to make sure they’re properly designed and built,” writes Dr. Levy.

The new principles advise local governments on how to design and manage systems to protect data and ensure resoring.

You have not explicitly specified a country or group that could carry out the attack. However, they warn of risks in the context of technology suppliers.

China is at the forefront of developing smart city technology, not only deploying it within its own borders, but also exporting equipment to other countries.

“Some countries are trying to get sensitive commercial and personal data from abroad, including the United Kingdom,” Guidance warns.

“They may also look for potential disruptions to foreign services.

“Suppliers that are part of a group of companies based in these countries have these to access and steal data from locations connected to the United Kingdom to support security and intelligence services in these countries. It may be influenced by the government.

“Such suppliers can also be used as a vector to stop essential services,” Guidance warns.

GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming warned last month that the West is facing a moment of consideration when it comes to China and a dispute over what values ​​will be incorporated into technology. When he emphasized the risk.

“If you don’t control the technologies, and if you don’t understand the security needed to implement them effectively, the data is used not only to navigate, but to track us. ” He told the BBC..