Ships Use Radio Navigation For Cyber Safety

 10 Aug 2017 10.29am

Cyberattacks have pushed South Korea to develop a non-satellite, radio-based navigational back-up system for ships known as eLoran, and the United States is planning to do the same, according to Reuters.

Britain and Russia may also be planning to adopt versions of eLoran ship navigation technology, it was reported.

South Korea in 2016 reported hundreds of fishing vessels signals’ had been jammed by hackers from North Korea.

US Coast Guard Navigation Center reported that a GPS system had been disrupted for 20 vessels on the Black Sea in June 2017.

The use of GPS had displaced radio for ship navigation since its World War II heyday.

Shipping and security officials say that over the past decade vessels have switched to satellite systems and paper charts have vanished, increasing cyber threats.

This is worsened by the fact that 90% of trade goes by sea and sea navigational channels are becoming more congested.

GPS failure may cause ship collisions, yet there is not currently any backup widely used in the shipping industry.

US engineer Brad Parkinson, a well-known GPS developer, said: “ELoran is only two-dimensional, regional, and not as accurate, but it offers a powerful signal at an entirely different frequency.”

 "It is a deterrent to deliberate jamming or spoofing (giving wrong positions), since such hostile activities can be rendered ineffective.”

The EU has also experimented with ‘more robust GPS navigation’. The EU QinetiQ, European Space Agency (ESA) and UK government, achieved this major step towards a new satellite system in 2015.

Technical Paper: Container tracking: RFID vs. Satellite – an honest evaluation

  Automation and Optimisation , Digitalisation, Carriers, Security and Logistics, VTS, Mooring & Berthing