Cy­ber ter­ror­ists could sink cruise ships

The Sunday Telegraph - - Terror On The Tube - By Ben Ri­ley-Smith AS­SIS­TANT PO­LIT­I­CAL EDITOR

CRUISE ships could be sunk by cy­ber ter­ror­ists, of­fi­cial Gov­ern­ment guid­ance has warned in a drive to im­prove pro­tec­tion from online at­tacks.

Ves­sels could be vul­ner­a­ble to “kid­nap, piracy, fraud [and] theft of cargo” if their com­puter sys­tems were com­pro­mised, the Depart­ment for Trans­port said.

A hack could even re­sult in “risk to life and/or the loss of the ship”, the guid­ance said.

The con­cern is that hack­ers could dis­tort map­ping equip­ment or the ship’s con­trols, caus­ing it to hit an­other ves­sel or run aground. The dire warn­ings were made in a “Cy­ber Se­cu­rity for Ships” code of prac­tice, writ­ten by the In­sti­tu­tion of En­gi­neer­ing and Technology and dis­trib­uted by White­hall.

Ex­perts said that any ship that re­lied on a com­puter sys­tem – such as elec­tronic lo­ca­tion track­ers – could be vul- ner­a­ble and urged com­pa­nies to make sure crews were trained in “old sea­man­ship” to help them re­tain con­trol.

Prof Alan Wood­ward, of the Sur­rey Cen­tre for Cy­ber Se­cu­rity, told The Sun­day Tele­graph that tests had shown su­per yachts could be hacked.

“We have to be aware that sig­nals can be spoofed. We’re not just talk­ing about su­per tankers and big cruise ships,” he said. “Ba­si­cally any­thing that has any form of au­to­ma­tion on it, in­clud­ing yachts, could be vul­ner­a­ble.”

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