DC metro vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks, says inspector general

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Inspector General Geoff Cherrington said in an interview that aired Monday on "Rising" that Washington, D.C.'s public transportation system is at a higher risk of cybersecurity attacks. 

"Any transportation system in any city can be vulnerable, but in particular in D.C., as you know, there's a lot of targets," Cherrington told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton last week. 

"You have rail cars going near the White House, Capitol Hill, Ronald Reagan National Airport," he continued.

"So anytime that any part of a network is attached to anything, particularly a rail car, and can be controlled outside of the WMATA system, it could be potentially a threat," he said. 

The state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corp's (CRRC) involvement in the U.S. train industry has raised concerns over potential cyberattacks from China, according to media reports.

The Washington Post reported this month that some experts have warned that China could use transit rail cars to carry out cyber espionage, though the newspaper said CRRC called that “ludicrous.”

CRRC has made inroads in the U.S. freight rail industry in recent years by producing rail cars for transit systems in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago.

The company is also pursuing a contract with the D.C. area's Metro system.

Metro has vowed to hire additional cybersecurity personnel to ensure that proper procedures and precautions are put in place to deal with cybersecurity. 

— Julia Manchester