Shipping

Research Warns of Cyber-Physical Attacks Against Vessel Tracking System

Researchers at Trend Micro report that an analysis of a vessel tracking system that is mandated on most large sea vessels has found that it is vulnerable to a range of possible software- and radio-based attacks. The vulnerabilities could be exploited in ‘cyber-physical’ attacks against the Automated Identification System (AIS) that directed ships off course or confused officials by mis-reporting the actual location of vessels, the researchers found. Trend Micro researchers Marco Balduzzi and Kyle Wilhoit presented their research at the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) in New Orleans this month. AIS is a global system for tracking the movement of vessels. It is intended to supplement marine radar and relies on ship, land and satellite-based systems to exchange data on ships’ position, course and speed and is used for everything from collision avoidance to security, ship-to-ship communications and weather forecasting.  AIS is required to be deployed on all passenger vessels and on international-voyaging ships […]