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Cyber Pirates Prowling Ship Controls Threaten Another Big Shock

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Rear Admiral Wayne Arguin, the Coast Guard’s assistant commandant for prevention policy, said shipping faces cyber risks similar to those in other industries, but the stakes are so much higher, given that almost 80% of global trade moves on the sea.


Global trade increasingly is being threatened by the ability of cyber pirates to hack on-board technologies that control container ships' steering, propulsion, navigation, and other operations.

Already this year, India's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust was hit by a ransomware attack, the freight-forwarding company Expeditors International of Washington Inc. sustained a targeted attack that crippled its systems for three weeks and cost it $60 million, and the supply-chain technology company Blume Global Inc.'s asset-management platform was left temporarily inaccessible after a cyber-incident.

Said Ken Munro of cybersecurity firm Pen Test Partners, "Ships were quickly connected to the Internet using satellite communications, but without all the other security controls needed to be safe and secure at sea. So now shipping operators are frantically trying to build these controls back in, but are struggling with decades-old equipment on board that can be really hard to secure."

From Bloomberg
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