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Critical infrastructure under threat from hackers

August 13, 2019 / Christopher Niesche

The continued rise of internet-connected devices has opened new vulnerabilities in Australia’s critical infrastructure, cyber security experts warn. According to IT forecaster Gartner, there were already 8.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) connections in 2017 and there will be over 20 billion by 2020. Infrastructure including power systems, transport, the internet, air traffic control and railways could all be disrupted or brought to a halt by an IoT hacker. “How would you shut down the rail network? You'd send all the signals red and the train drivers will not cross a red signal,” says Phil Kernick, chief technology officer, and co-founder of CQR, the largest independent information security consultancy in Australia. You want to stop Adelaide working, change all the traffic lights to go red and stay red. There simply aren't enough police to go and stand on every corner and manually let traffic through.