Posted on July 11, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has issued an official warning to shipping companies on June the 8th as to the potential risks involved in a cyber-attack after a recent malware attack on a vessel entering the country.
The Marine Safety Alert that was issued emphasized the importance for ship owners to conduct cybersecurity assessments in order to better understand the extent of their vulnerabilities.
Cyber-attacks on industrial control systems could kill or injure workers, damage equipment, expose the public and the environment to harmful pollutants, and lead to extensive economic damage. The loss of ship and cargo scheduling systems could substantially slow cargo operations in ports, leading to backups across the transportation system,” reads the alert from the USCG.
The primary reason behind the alert was an incident that had occurred back in February onboard a cargo vessel was headed for the Port of New York. The ship had been underway when a cyber-attack caused a severe degradation to the onboard network systems.
An investigation was launched by the USCG that upon conclusion, revealed that the vessel had been operating without effective cybersecurity measures in place.
The ship’s ability to manage cargo data and communicate with the coast guard & other shore-side facilities was severely impacted as a result of the attack.