Malware risk to NSW traffic controls as cyber attacks increase

NSW is at risk of accidents and traffic chaos until the state updates its IT security, the auditor-general warns in assessments of critical traffic and water infrastructure.

Viruses and malware could cause chaos and even accidents on New South Wales roads via online attacks against the integrated traffic signal network despite controls put in place, auditor-general Grant Hehir advised today in a new performance report of some of the state’s critical infrastructure.

Control put in place by Roads and Maritime Services and Transport for NSW have been only partially effective in detecting and preventing incidents and are unlikely to support a timely response, Hehir warned. A range of risks were adequately managed he reported, but some remain:

“For example, there is a potential for unauthorised access to sensitive information and systems that could result in traffic disruptions, and even accidents in one particular section of the road network.”

Mock disaster scenario tests have identified improvements for the state’s Traffic Management Centre. Hehir reports that management have already begun initiating them. However, he warns:

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