Report Warns of COP26 Cyber-Threat to Glasgow

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Glasgow is bracing itself for potential cyber-attacks on its transport infrastructure and businesses ahead of a key climate summit in November, it has emerged.

Police and security experts told the Sunday Mail that unnamed threat actors could be gearing up to sabotage the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which the UK is hosting.

Government organizations, local businesses and rail networks have all been singled out as potential targets, with Police Scotland launching a specialist team to handle the fallout of any attacks, the report claimed.

Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) is also said to be ramping up security measures ahead of the conference at the SSE in Glasgow.

The SPT runs the Glasgow Subway, one of the oldest underground passenger transit systems globally, which could be a target for ransomware.

Cyber-criminals have in the past targeted New York’s Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA), San Francisco’s Municipal Transport Agency and, most recently, UK rail franchise Northern Rail.

“We’ve got a separate group looking at cybersecurity,” noted SPT’s head of business strategy and delivery, Gordon Dickson. "In terms of the Subway, we are having to look at our security requirements for that and working closely with emergency services, security and police on the plans.”

The 12-day summit begins on October 31 and will feature tens of thousands of delegates from across the globe. Dignitaries will include the Queen and other heads of state, with rumors that US President Joe Biden may also appear.

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre boasts a range of resources and best practice advice designed to help organizations tackle threats like ransomware. It also runs a cybercrime incident response line for SMEs and third sector organizations and a free “Exercise in a Box” cyber-stress test workshop.

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