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Cyber ​​attacks on maritime facilities soar during pandemic

Operators of ships, oil rigs and seaports face huge increase in cyber attacks during coronavirus pandemic, as employees working from home expose facilities to outside penetration, security experts say computer science.
As cyber attacks across industries increased during the pandemic, a June survey by cybersecurity firm McAfee found remote attacks on cloud services increased 630 percent, while the Federal Bureau of Investigation from the United States said it has received so many reports of cyber attacks. From the second week of June, as in 2019, shipping and logistics activities are particularly vulnerable.
Most vessels do not have built-in encryption or authentication codes for critical systems used for navigation. “Shipping could be seen as a soft target,” noted a recent industry survey by Marsh & McLennan.
A July report released by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, an insurer, said there had been a 400% increase in attempted cyber attacks against the maritime industry since the coronavirus outbreak.
“The consequences of the coronavirus and a sustained economic recession could threaten long-term safety improvements and trigger increased losses from cost-cutting measures, crew fatigue, inactive vessels and weaker emergency response, ”said Baptiste Ossena, head of Allianz hull insurance.

Robert Rizika, head of North America operations at Naval Dome, a marine cybersecurity consultancy, said the global shipping industry expected more than 500 ‘major cybersecurity breaches’ to be reported this year. , compared to 310 last year and 120 in 2018.
“The fact that people cannot travel and do not physically meet has forced them to connect… remotely, thus opening up more systems to cyber attacks [and] attacks are increasing, ”he said.
Mr Rizika said the quarantine requirements for technicians – 14 days before boarding a ship or oil rig and potentially an additional 14 days upon return – were “too long to resolve critical infrastructure issues. “. The accommodation fee meant that a technician visit now costs 14 to 28 times the pre-pandemic price.
“In addition, staff working at home use their own PCs and home networks which are not properly protected, resulting in vulnerabilities,” he said. “Often, other family members with no computer skills are using the same computer and the same network, which increases the vulnerabilities.
So far this year, a US pipeline operator and the Swiss-Italian shipping company MSC have been hit with malware. US-based freight facilities, including New Orleans, have come under ransomware attacks, while hackers have targeted ports in Iran and Israel. In June, the systems at Shahid Rajaee’s port in Bandar Abbas were hacked, restricting movement and creating a backlog of ships of several kilometers.


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