Cyber Threat to Maritime TUG Owners


The Maritime Transportation System (MTS) in association with the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) of United States has issued a warning to all TUG owners that all their connected operations are vulnerable to cyber threats like malware hits, virus infections and state funded hacks.

Readers of Cybersecurity Insiders should notify a fact over here that this is the first of its kind alert issued to all organizations holding tug operations. And the warning was issued when a Maritime facility received a phishing email with a voicemail attached theme that was then alerted to Louisiana InfraGard, an agency related to cyber threat that then alerted MTS- ISAC.


And FYI, the email was shared with an Office 365 eVoiceMail Express themed message imitating a vessel operator.

When the Security analysts from ISAC analyzed the email, they discovered that one of the HTTP requests was not flagged off by any threat detection solution because of sophistication. Also, there was a notable difference in the email content as most of the content line was existing in three different fonts- meaning similar copy & pasted emails were sent to other victims as well- with the IP address geolocated to Germany and marked as spam sender.

Unfortunately, if any of the vessel operators fall prey to such cyber attacks, then they are being requested to quickly report the incident to mtsisac dot org website.

NOTE 1-TUG is a small boat that is used to pull over big ships or large vessels under various circumstances.

NOTE 2- Louisiana InfraGard is a DHS aligned non-profit organization that works by sharing information and intelligence related to hostile acts against North America.

NOTE 3- MTS issued a warning in August thorough a Webinar titled “Where the port security meets Cyber Security”.



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