UK train network Merseyrail is likely to be hit via Lockbit ransomware
UK train infrastructure Merseyrail has confirmed a cyberattack following a ransomware group used the system for email to inform journalists and employees regarding the attack.
Merseyrail is an UK railway network that offers trains through 68 stations located in the Liverpool City Region in England.
“We are able to affirm that Merseyrail was the subject of an attack from cyberspace. An investigation into the incident has been initiated and is currently in progress. At present, we’ve informed the appropriate authorities,” Merseyrail told BleepingComputer yesterday following the receipt of an unidentified email from the email address from Andy Heath, the Director of Merseyrail.
The Ransomware gang utilizes the Merseyrail email system to stop them
Although the cyberattack hasn’t been disclosed publicly, BleepingComputer learned of the attack when it received a suspicious email on April 18th . Heith’s email address with the subject of the email, “Lockbit Ransomware Attack and Data Theft. “
This email was sent out to BleepingComputer and other UK newspapers, as well as the employees of Merseyrail in what seems to be a takeover of Director’s @merseyrail.org Office 365 email account by the Lockbit Ransomware gang.
In this email, attackers claimed to be the Director of Merseyrail, and informed employees that the past weekend’s power outage was brushed aside and that they were the victims of an attack using ransomware where hackers accessed customer and employee information.
In the email is the link to the image that shows the personal details of an employee which Lockbit was alleged to have stolen in the course of the hack.
After many attempts to contact Merseryrail to confirm the incident, we finally received the official statement of the rail network late last night.
“It isn’t appropriate to further comment as the investigation continues,” Merseyrail told BleepingComputer when we inquired about what the Director’s email address was compromised.
As a response to inquiries In response to our inquiries, our inquiry was answered by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) confirmed that Merseyrail informed them about this “incident. “
“Merseyrail has alerted us of an incident, and we are looking into the information we have received,” the ICO told BleepingComputer via email.
Ransomware gangs aggressively extort victims
In the past year the ransomware gangs have become more aggressive in their extortion strategies.
In the past ransomware attacks were characterized by threats actors getting victims’ information, later encrypting them in order to demand a ransom.
As time has passed, threat actor’s tactics have evolved to include DDoS attacks on victim websites and networks, sending emails to journalists and customers, and threats to contact stock exchanges.
Unfortunately, even though these attacks are continuing as they are, the employees and clients typically are the last to be informed about what’s happening to their personal information and the organization.
Utilizing the victim’s email system to spread their attack to journalists, employees and even customers could flip this around.
The government rejects a funding proposal to fund Merseyrail connection connecting Ellesmere Port and Helsby
The decision is described as ‘complex However, the Transport Minister claims there’s no interest for the proposed service.
Ellesmere Port train station.
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An elected councillor described decision of the government to reject a “green’ Cheshire rail extension plan to be “perplexing” in addition to “a missed chance”.
Karen Shore, deputy leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council she backed the council’s request for The Department for Transport to reinstate an existing train service that runs from Ellesmere Port to Helsby, by using green transportation.
Weaver Vale Labour MP Mike Amesbury has also supported the project and expressed his displeasure at the decision to not support the rail project.
The options include extending the current Merseyrail service with trains that can run with battery power, provided that there isn’t an electrified rail third rail to power the motor for that particular stretch of track.
The concept was to boost economic development by connecting people as well as communities to industrial and job opportunities with a sustainable and economical mode of transport.
In rejecting the proposal, the Minister of Transport Wendy Morton MP argued there was not enough evidence of demand from passengers to justify the proposed services’.
The government scheme for which the council sought funds is known as “Restoring Your Railway Fund’. The plan was referred to in the form of the ” Hooton to Helsby Rail Service Enhancement Strategic Outline Business Case’ and was regarded by Government as a way to support the goals of Levelling up even though it wasn’t an “Levelling up” bid in its own.
Cllr Shore stated: “This perplexing decision gives an alternative to the Government’s talking points and is an unrealized opportunity of strengthening the north.
“Extending The Merseyrail services, as an instance is expected to result in more than 400,000 rail trips annually by 2040, for a investment in capital of PS6m.
Councillor Shore stated that the council will continue to work together with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to investigate possibilities of expanding to extend the Merseyrail route to Helsby.
Mike Amesbury MP, whose area of constituency is Helsby Amesbury MP, stated that a brand new rail line would have been beneficial for commuters and businesses. He added.
It could have also increased the number of visitors into Helsby and beyond and beyond, including Delamere Forest, as it could have been connected to an on-demand bus service that is due to be launched in the near future. “