Mopic-680x0-c-default.jpg Developments in connectivity and the transfer of data in greater volumes between ship and shore continue to bring significant gains for fleet management efficiency and crew welfare, but they also increase the vulnerability of critical systems onboard vessels to cyber attacks.

A 2019 IHS Markit/BIMCO report recorded 58% of respondents to a survey of stakeholders as confirming that cybersecurity guidelines had been incorporated into their company or fleet by 2018. The increase over the 37% giving this answer in 2017 explained a sharp drop in the number of maritime companies reporting themselves as victims of cyber-attacks according to authors – 22% compared to 34%.

However, the enduring feature of cyber threats is their ability to adapt and evolve, with new lines of attack developed as barriers are put in place, and strategies to expose vulnerabilities constantly emerging. A June 2020 White Paper from the British Ports Association and cyber risk management specialists Astaara suggests that reliance on remote working during the COVID-19 crisis coincided with a fourfold increase in maritime
cyber attacks from February onwards, for example.

In fact, cybersecurity was ranked as the second-highest risk for shipping in 2019, behind natural disasters, according to a survey of over 2,500 risk managers conducted by Allianz.
Given that, according to IBM, companies take on average about 197 days to identify and 69 days to contain a cyber breach, it is clear that an attack on a vessel’s critical systems could threaten the safety of a ship as well as the business of shipping.

The fact that a 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon indicates that nearly one-third of all data breaches involve phishing provides one indicator that, where cyber vulnerabilities exist, the ‘human element’ can badly expose them.

The U.S. Coast Guard has already advised ship owners that basic cybersecurity precautions
should include: segmenting networks so that infections cannot spread easily; checking external hardware such as USB memory devices for viruses before connection to sensitive systems; and ensuring that each user on a network is properly defined, with individual passwords and permissions.

From 2021, the Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea that covers 99% of the world’s commercial shipping will formalise the approach to cybersecurity permissible for ships at sea.

By International Maritime Organization (IMO) resolution, no later than a ship’s first annual Document of Compliance audit after 1 January 2021, every Safety Management System must be documented as having included cyber risk management, in line with the International Safety Management Code.

The following report offers ship owners and managers guidance covering their responsibilities under the new IMO regime.


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After a successful pilot, system integrator Bakker Sliedrecht and gas shipping company Anthony Veder intend to enter a partnership to provide ships with remote service through augmented reality glasses (AR-glasses). 

The companies have run a successful pilot on gas tanker Coral Favia. During the pilot, functionalities were tested via a dial-up connection and common failures were simulated. On board, an officer wore the AR glasses, guiding Bakker Sliedrecht experts virtually through the ship.

Thijs van Hal, Head of Main Contracting at Bakker Sliedrecht, says:

“Normally, emails and construction plans are sent back and forth first and phone calls are made to get to the core problem. Now we can watch live. We can solve the problem immediately, or we know what’s going on and we can make a better planning and bring the right parts directly with us.”

Thijs. Anthony Veder has a fleet of over thirty vessels transporting liquified gas on a worldwide scale, says:

“Now it can happen that a colleague is travelling for several days, while afterwards it turned out that the solution for the malfunction was relatively easy. As downtime for ships is very expensive, quick service is important. If you can offer them remote assistance through AR glasses, you can be ready in two hours instead of two days.”

All kinds of digital information can be projected or added to the screen on the glasses. This varies from construction plans, virtual arrows to a 3D impression of the engine room or the switch box. Computer screens on the glasses can also be shared. It is a kind of webcam on site, where you both see the same thing and where you have multiple additional tools to make an accurate assessment of the situation.

Wouter Boogaart, Digital Development Manager at Anthony Veder, says:

“It is a very useful tool when there are problems on a ship far away. You can see together what is the problem and how you can solve it.”

The AR glasses can also be used for tests and remote inspections.

According to Van Hal, this type of remote assistance technology will become more important as ships are becoming more and more complex:

“We will do more things remotely. Then it is important that we are already successful with this.”

Anthony Veder wants to expand the deployment of the AR glass in phases over a part of the fleet. In addition to purchasing AR glasses, staff will be trained and the IT infrastructure will be upgraded.

Boogaart says:

“We believe that these kinds of developments are the future. Ships are becoming increasingly complex. As a result, much more expertise and specialism is needed to see what is going on. Something that is often not present on board. The glasses can save a lot of time, travel time and money, which is why the investment is worth it. Especially during Corona times, the glasses are a useful tool because borders are closed and planes stay on the ground. Then these kinds of innovations have proven to be necessary.”

Source: seawanderer


Elbit Systems tested the combination of a mini-unmanned aerial system with its Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) to further enhance the vessel’s intelligence capabilities beyond Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Mines Countermeasure (MCM). The addition of a UAS extends the Seagull operator’s line of sight. Trials were conducted in recent weeks.

The shipborne mini-UAS is capable of point water recovery and a takeoff weight of up to 15kg. The visual feed generated by the mini-UAS can be transmitted to the land based control unit of the Seagull USV and to the Combat Management System (CMS) of additional vessels, according to the company announcement.

While the Seagull USV is a specially designed multi-role vessel for underwater warfare, the USV’s switchable payload suite includes Electronic Warfare and Electro-Optic/Infra-Red payloads to provide situational awareness and facilitate intelligence gathering.

The integration of a tactical UAS onboard the USV further expands its capacity to generate intelligence enabling to utilize the USV for enhancing the situational awareness of any maritime force and for shore exploration.

The Seagull USV enables naval forces to enhance performance while reducing risk to human life and dramatically cutting procurement and operating costs. Additional sonar systems were added onboard the Seagull USV during the last year, integrating a HELRAS sonar in-cooperation with the Israeli Navy and concluding a series of trials for the TRAPS-USV towed sonar, significantly enhancing its ASW capabilities.

The Seagull USV was deployed by in several exercises that were conducted with NATO maritime forces in the last few years, including in an MCM exercise alongside the HMS Ocean of the UK Royal Navy, and an ASW exercise and more.

Source: i-hls


The Port of Beaumont was awarded $533,913 in federal funding by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Port Security Grant Program (PSGP), the port announced July 15. The grant will reportedly fund a portion of three major security projects designed to upgrade the port’s video surveillance capabilities and cybersecurity program.

In total, the 2020 Port Security Grant Program awarded $100 million to eligible applicants including port authorities, facility operators, and state and local government agencies, to help protect port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management, and maintain or reestablish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency efforts. Southeast Texas was the beneficiary of six PSGP grants totaling $3.3 million.

“The Port Security Grant program is vital to supporting the National Preparedness System to ensure the nation has the capabilities to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from natural and technological hazards along with terrorist and cyber-attacks,” says Director of Securities, Facilities and Regulatory Compliance Randal Ogrydziak. “The Port of Beaumont’s three Port Security Grant projects will greatly enhance the port’s physical, video surveillance and cybersecurity.”

The Port of Beaumont’s three projects are expected to be complete by summer 2021.

Source: beaumontbusinessjournal


Global market leader for commercial maritime software Veson Nautical has formally launched VIP Data Lake, the newest module of its innovative cloud solution, the Veson IMOS Platform (VIP).

One of VIP’s optional Data Solutions, Data Lake offers a cloud-native, scalable solution that allows users to interact with and download large amounts of data in a highly efficient manner. The module was first announced at Veson’s ONCOURSE user conference, which took place virtually last month.

Bill McConnell, Product Manager at Veson Nautical, commented:

“In a single day, the maritime shipping industry generates roughly 120 million data points related to contracts, vessel movement, cargo locations, and more. Without a proper solution, organizations are not able to effectively analyze their historical data. The Data Lake solution solves that problem by making data in the VIP operational database available on an ongoing basis, in a format compatible with leading data reporting and analytics tools.”

VIP Data Lake is designed handle vast quantities of data at one time, and is compatible with data warehouse, business intelligence and data analytics solutions. By increasing simplifying full access to historical operational data snapshots, Veson seeks to empower its clients to unlock powerful insights and make better, data-driven decisions.

Ben Thurecht, CTO at Veson Nautical, commented:

“Many of the conversations we have with our client base center around accessing, securing, and integrating data into downstream applications. VIP Data Lake allows clients to gain rapid access to all of the data stored in VIP, refreshed on either a daily or hourly basis. That data can then be downloaded and ingested into downstream systems, such as a custom data warehouse solution or a third party application. This allows our customers to retrieve and work with larger quantities of data easier than ever before, which in turn opens up a world of opportunity for extracting valuable insights and supporting decisions with data”

VIP Data Lake joins 16 other modules on the Veson IMOS Platform as an optional Data Solution in the market-leading end-to-end system. The module is available today.

Source: seawanderer


German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd on Wednesday reported preliminary results for the first half of 2020 showing core profits above those of the same 2019 period and upholding its guidance for full year earnings.

However, the company said in an ad hoc announcement that the forecast was subject to “high uncertainty” due to risks related to the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the macroeconomy and global shipping.

Hapag Lloyd achieved a 20.3% year-on-year rise in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to 1.15 billion euros ($1.31 billion) and a 28.5% increase in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to around 500 million euros in the six months, it said.

Full-year EBITDA should be 1.7 to 2.2 billion euros and EBIT 0.5-1.0 billion euros, it reiterated.

Analysts see a chance that container shipping companies, helped by cost discipline and the resumption of Chinese business activities, can prevent a steep decline in freight rates and benefit from a tentative recovery later in 2020.

Hapag-Lloyd has added several hundred million euros to its 1.1-1.2 billion euro reserve, allowing its operations to continue unhindered for 12 to 18 months should demand problems outside China linger, chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen said in May. Final first half figures will be published on August 14.

Source: maritimeprofessional


ClassNK reports that it has joined the Maritime Transportation System Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MTS-ISAC), a US-based non-profit formed in February 2020 to promote cybersecurity information sharing throughout the maritime community.

The MTS-ISAC has already produced a number of maritime cybersecurity advisories sourced from member shared information, aiming to share members’ best practices so that critical infrastructure stakeholders can be better protected. ClassNK is the group’s first non-US member, though it expects to add further additional international stakeholders to the community in the future.

The partnership provides ClassNK with additional community-sourced cyber threat intelligence to reinforce its own Cyber Security Guidelines, something the class society has been keen to do in advance of the IMO’s January 1, 2021, deadline for Maritime Cyber Risk Management to be addressed in Safety Management Systems.

In addition, the US Coast Guard will begin inspecting facilities regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 for cyber risk management efforts for the first time next year, starting with annual inspections occurring on or after October 1, 2021.

“We are excited that ClassNK is bringing a proactive, classification society perspective into the MTS-ISAC community,” said Scott Dickerson, the MTS-ISAC’s Executive Director.

“The MTS community’s resiliency is improved when we can quickly address cyber risks with meaningful cybersecurity controls. ClassNK joining the MTS-ISAC is a perfect example of how community partnerships provide win-win situations while reinforcing to stakeholders how the implementation of guidelines and recommended security controls can reduce their exposure to risks the community is actively seeing.”

“The MTS-ISAC’s Board of Directors understands the importance of cyber risk prevention efforts and are supportive of the inclusion of class societies into our information sharing ecosystem as a key component to building a stronger culture of community cybersecurity.”

Source: smartmaritimenetwork


Ransomware attackers who hacked leading Australian maritime logistics business Toll Group’s corporate server files in May 2020 have published stolen data on the Dark Web, the company has revealed. The hackers used Nefilim ransomware to steal sensistive dat  including Toll employee names, home addresses, age, birthdates, and payroll details including salary, superannuation, and tax file numbers.

While it’s not illegal to visit the Dark Web, it provides access to illegal activities. Web sites that exist on the Dark Web are encrypted most commonly through the Tor encryption tool and most Dark Web users access those sites using the Tor browser.

The Dark Web allows users to remain anonymous through encryption. This is attractive to anyone involved in illegal activity, such as child pornography, sex trafficking, illicit drugs, or counterfeit goods. The hackers who scolded Toll did so easily because of  its lack of security measures. “Toll Group failed to secure their network even after the first attack (in January),” read the post, screen grabbed by Data Breach Today. “We have more than 200 GB of archives of their private data.”

Toll have refused ransom demands by the unknown hackers so far. 

The first attack, which took place in January and has since been attributed to a Russian criminal group, a Toll spokesperson has said there has been a second unrelated attack. The second security breach, which took place in May was in concert with a spate of attacks on other industries in Australia. Australia’s trade and diplomatic relationships with China have worsened over issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and as yet unattributed cyber attacks on Australian institutions and businesses.

A recent joint cyber security survey by the international maritime  association BIMCO found the “attack surface” or human element to be a major factor in maritime shipping  industry breaches. 

The survey noted that training in the maritime industry was important to prevent seafarers and dockers opening emails containing malware or inserting infected USB sticks into company computers.

Maritime organisations would stop doing business with a third-party supplier due to a lack of cyber-security protections, according to an industry survey.

More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents to the 2020 Safety at Sea and BIMCO Maritime Cyber Security survey said they would cancel a contract with a third-party supplier over concerns with their cyber-security practices, or if it was found to be the cause of a cyber incident in the respondent’s own organisation. Furthermore, 26% admitted they had previously recommended not doing business with a third-party supplier due to concerns over poor cyber security practices. The survey found 68% reported phishing incidents where email attachments or web links led to breaches. Contractors or third parties were also a liability.

What is susceptible to attack at sea is navigation control and propulsion, automatic identification system (AIS), electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS), or radar. In ports, ships’ cargo handling or container tracking could be compromised.

The International Maritime Organisation has given ship-owners and managers until January 2021 to incorporate cyber risk management into their respective ship management systems.

Toll said it had further strengthened its systems and operations across its global network have resumed as normal.
While maritime companies are expanding their assessments into cyber security weaknesses across their supply chain, many of their measures remain firmly focused on reducing human error.

“Cyber-security training is seen by many as a first line of defence, especially against the most common types of cyber incidents,” said Jakob P. Larsen, Head of Security at BIMCO. “Eighty-eight percent of respondents indicated that their company offers some sort of cyber training, either internally provided (58%) or externally provided (30%).



ABSG Consulting Inc. (ABS Consulting), a subsidiary of ABS focused on safety and risk management, and American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) have joined forces to provide education, training and insurance guidance that address maritime cyber security.

As digital transformation in the maritime industry brings both opportunities and new challenges, owners and operators are relying more on smart technologies and operational data to drive decisions and run their businesses. Comprehensive cyber security programs are not only necessary to protect operations but are also critical to protect the overall safety of crew and the environment. More frequent cyber attacks, increased digitalization and emerging global regulatory focus are adding to immediate demands to address and reduce cyber risk across the industry’s value chain. Cyber security has become a business imperative and new measures will have an impact on how maritime vessels and facilities will be covered by insurers.

Dr. William Moore, Director of Loss and Prevention at the American P&I Club, says:

“The safety and security of our members is a priority. Having a better understanding of the tools available, the programs that can be implemented and the integration of these in the marine industry will help us provide better services to shipowners and charterers globally. The work we are going to do with ABS Consulting is going to help us identify how to enhance our policies, and the offerings we need to incorporate to improve the coverage and services we offer to our members.”

Ian Bramson, Global Head of Cyber Security of ABS Group, says:

“Collaborating with the American Club to build education programs for their members and industry will give us a better understanding of the real challenges we are collectively facing. This alliance enables us to develop the tools, training and services that support compliance and help ship owners and operators put protections in place to secure their vessels – from the design and construction phases through continuous operation over their service life.”

Source: seawanderer

ABS Consulting and American P&I Club have joined forces to provide education, training and insurance guidance to address maritime cyber security.

A teaming with the consulting subsidiary of classification society ABS will help American Club “identify how to enhance our policies, and the offerings we need to incorporate to improve the coverage and services we offer to our members,” said Dr William Moore, director of the club’s Loss Prevention.

“Collaborating with the American Club to build education programs for their members and industry will give us a better understanding of the real challenges we are collectively facing,” commented Ian Bramson, global head of Cyber Security at ABS Group.

“This alliance enables us to develop the tools, training and services that support compliance and help ship owners and operators put protections in place to secure their vessels – from the design and construction phases through continuous operation over their service life,” he added.

Source: seatrade-maritime