05 April 2015

[050415.EN.SEA] Ship Control Systems Are Potential Targets For Cyber Criminals

CLASSIFICATION society DNV GL is warning of cyber security risks to ships that are becoming increasingly dependent on programmable control systems.

"Ships and offshore structures are becoming more and more interconnected," said DNV GL maritime chief Tor Svensen, at the CMA Shipping event involving the US Coast Guard, shipowners and class representatives.

"In theory, all programmable components may be exposed to cyber threats, be they machinery, navigation or communication systems," he said, reported London's Tanker Operator.

"This is a weak spot. There are many ways something can go wrong with the systems or software, be it caused by technical or human error, or cyber criminals."

Mr Svensen said that improving protection against cyber attacks would involve taking a risk-based approach.

He recommended that asset owners and operators consider cyber security self-assessments, third party assessments, audits, testing and verification, and suggested that such requirements be implemented into future regulations.

Cyber security audits or "health checks" are starting points. With a combination of so-called Hardware In-the-Loop (HIL) and cyber security testing, DNV GL's Marine Cybernetics unit offers tests addressing typical threats, such as network storms and penetrations, password attacks, disconnections and communication failures.

Source : HKSG.

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