Maritime Cyber Attack Accidents
In our constantly connected world, more companies are going digital, including those in the maritime industry. Unfortunately, cyber attacks are increasing as well, and these threats pose serious risks to worker safety. According to a 2017 maritime industry survey by Fairplay, 34 percent of respondents reported that their company experienced a cyber attack.
How Maritime Cyber Attacks Occur
Maritime companies often fail to understand just how attractive they are to online criminals. Shipping firms routinely deposit and transfer large sums of money, and compromising maritime systems gives thieves a convenient way to transport stolen goods.
Common maritime company vulnerabilities include:
- Using default passwords
- Failing to install and use antivirus software
- Using an infected USB memory stick
- Falling victim to a phishing attack
- Failing to update software and patch system vulnerabilities
- Providing remote access to a vessel’s critical computer systems via the internet
Maritime Cyber Attack Consequences
Many vessel systems are vulnerable to attack, including communication, power control, bridge, and cargo management. Navigation-critical systems are perhaps the most vulnerable of all, and these may include:
- Automatic Identification Systems. These systems monitor surrounding vessels while broadcasting the ship’s location to avoid collisions. A cyber attack may cause these systems to broadcast erroneous information about the vessel’s location.
- Global Navigation Satellite Systems. Global positioning systems and other satellite navigational aids are used to pinpoint a vessel’s precise location. A hack might give the crew false navigational information, causing them to veer off-course and ground the ship.
- Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems. These systems provide digital charts of ocean routes. When the crew is given false information due to an attack, they may plot an erroneous course, leading to an allision.
If you were injured in a vessel collision, allision, or grounding due to a maritime cyber attack, you need an experienced maritime attorney to help you receive compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. This may include payments for your medical bills and loss of income.
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