Chinese Rail Cars Spark Concern Over Cybersecurity

State and local government agencies have become increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks — particularly when it comes to public transportation.

In 2016, hackers hit the San Francisco transit system with a ransomware attack demanding $70,000. The following year, Sacramento Regional Transit faced a similar strike. In 2018, the Colorado Department of Transportation shut down 2,000 computers after falling victim to two ransomware attacks in two weeks.

Faced with these kinds of new cyberthreats, a number of security officials and experts have focused attention on one potential source: China. Chinese hackers have not been accused of the transit ransomware attacks, but they have been blamed for hacking other U.S. government agencies and businesses in an effort to gain intelligence and trade secrets. The growing political tensions between the U.S. and China have culminated in a series of tariffs on Chinese goods.

Meanwhile, a state-owned Chinese company is

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