Maritime cyber attacks database launches

Maritime cyber-attacks database launches

Researchers led by NHL Stenden’s Stephen McCombie have launched the Maritime Cyber ​​Attack Database (MCAD) database to map maritime cyber attacks from around the world.

The database lists more than 160 incidents which demonstrate the relevance and vulnerabilities of cyber security across the board in today’s maritime industry, says NHL Stenden Maritime IT Security Lecturer, Stephen McCombie.

Maritime IT Security has collected information for the MCAD about more than 160 cyber incidents in the maritime sector. 

The database not only includes incidents affecting ships, but also ports and other maritime facilities from around the world. 

The research group expects that the database will help raise awareness of cyber security in the industry and provide data for further research and more accurate simulations in this critical area.

Peter Mulder, director of the ICT & Creative Technologies academy at NHL Stenden: “The database is aimed at creating a safer world in which the Global Maritime Transportation System (GMTS) can respond to threats that will only increase in number and impact.

“With this public database, we are raising awareness of cyber incidents in the maritime sector and creating opportunities for further investigation by our research group, led by Stephen McCombie and our partners,” Mulder added.

One of the applications of the database is to develop simulations of maritime cyber incidents that are realistic and relevant, so that companies, organisations, and ports can prepare for attacks.

The research group will also use the MCAD to produce reports and research papers showing trends and results of detailed analysis on subsets of the data.

READ: Pro-Russian hackers suspected in cyber attacks on Canadian ports

McCombie further commented: “The database is not a one-off but will be regularly updated and supplemented.

“For the first investigation, we searched manually, but now we are developing with artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the identification of new incidents from open sources and find out more details about already known incidents.”

In April 2023, several ports in Canada suffered multiple cyber attacks this week, but the ports remain open and cargo is moving.

More recently, ransomware cyber attacks on Costa Rican institutions activated emergency measures across the shipping industry, as imports and exports have been heavily affected.

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