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Norfolk Southern system outage not the result of cyber attack

Norfolk Southern system outage not the result of cyber attack

Norfolk Southern system outage not the result of cyber attack according to rail company

ATLANTA – A technology outage that impacted rail operations for the Norfolk Southern Corp. late Friday evening on Sept. 29 has been ruled not to be the result of a cyber attack following an update from the company on Saturday.

On Friday evening, Norfolk Southern's data center experienced an outage that impacted rail operations that included their dispatching system, train movements, and functionality of their terminal operating system. Operations were halted until the issue was safely and successfully resolved at 1:30 a.m. ET the following day. According to Norfolk Southern, all systems are now fully functional, and trains are running.

“Our marketing team is collaborating closely with customers to keep them informed. We expect the impact to our operations to last at least a couple of weeks as we work to mitigate traffic congestion caused by the outage,” the company wrote in a release. “At this time, the company has found no indication that this was related to an unauthorized cybersecurity incident, or the outage of Aug. 28. We are continuing to examine the root cause of the incident but believe at this time that it relates to a vendor product defect.”

Many companies and service providers have been leery as the past year has seen numerous attacks to databases and infrastructure around the country. Several medical facilities have been hacked leading to dangerous delays and mix-ups at hospitals as digital systems failed in the wake of hacks and ransomware incidents. Several casinos and businesses belonging to MGM in Las Vegas were the targets of a recent cyber attack costing as much as $8 million per day for the victim, and security equipment provider Johnson Controls experienced its own series of disruptions just this week.  

Norfolk Southern has stated that they’ve undertaken a total review of the resiliency of their data center and network technology in order to prevent future outages.


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