Growing threat of cyber-attacks

Security concerns persist in the shipping sector.

Digital pirates and the growing threat of cyber-attacks to shipping

By  from London
In a world where young men are willing to pounce on VLCCs using only guts, wooden boats and rusty Kalashnikovs, the threat to shipping and maritime may now also be coming in a much more subtle manner from the computer hacker.

Cyber security may be right at the top of the international agenda, exemplified by Barack Obama’s 2013 statement that the “cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face”. But – like most things cyber – shipping has not been taking it particularly seriously until recently. Last week, International Maritime Bureau took time out of battling corporeal pirates to warn shipping about the risks of digital ones, which warned shipping is becoming the “next playground for hackers”.

In fact, it arguably has been for some time, after it was discovered in October last year that for two years, hackers had been intercepting drug shipments at the Port of Antwerp and disappearing containers from its systems.

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