Cyber warning for shipping

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

02 February 2017


Shipping still playing catch up with information security. Insurance gaps leave shipping exposed to growing cyber threats, says a report in CNBC. CNBC quoted Matthew Montgomery, senior associate at international law firm Holman Fenwick Willan as saying that over reliance on electronic navigation helps hackers become more capable. The software to run the engines, complex cargo management systems, automatic identification systems (AIS), global positioning systems (GPS) and electronic chart displays and information systems (ECDIS) are exposed to cyber threats. According to a report in Reuters, with 90 percent of world trade transported by vessels, the stakes are high. Gaps in insurance for ship owners and the disruptions that could cause have the potential to drive up both industrial and consumer prices. The report also quoted professor David Last, strategic advisor to the government-affiliated General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland as saying that shipping is very vulnerable not just to jamming of their systems but now to spoofing as well. He was referring to devices that can transmit false GPS signals. The most high-profile reported cyber-attacks involving shipping so far had wider targets.