Executive Briefings

Hackers Could Sink a Bulk Carrier, Experts Say

Penetration testing experts Pen Test Partners, have highlighted how hackers could sink a bulk carrier by manipulating the loading data of its hull stress monitoring systems (HSMS) to deliberately cause an imbalance of cargo on the vessel without the crew being aware.

Hackers Could Sink a Bulk Carrier, Experts Say

The consequences could be catastrophic with the vessel being put under intense strain leading to it breaking up and sinking.

“The reason it is feasible is that when HSMS were first developed, there was no concept of a vessel being connected to the internet, allowing it to be accessed remotely. Therefore, many HSMS are just PCs connected to the ships’ network,” said senior partner, Ken Munro.

A hacker could interrupt the loading data being fed to and from the monitoring system, having previously compromised the network either via the satcom unit or a phishing e-mail.

“Once in control, hackers can manipulate the loading of cargo and turn off any stress monitoring alarms that would alert crew to any undue strain on the vessel,” said Munro.

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The consequences could be catastrophic with the vessel being put under intense strain leading to it breaking up and sinking.

“The reason it is feasible is that when HSMS were first developed, there was no concept of a vessel being connected to the internet, allowing it to be accessed remotely. Therefore, many HSMS are just PCs connected to the ships’ network,” said senior partner, Ken Munro.

A hacker could interrupt the loading data being fed to and from the monitoring system, having previously compromised the network either via the satcom unit or a phishing e-mail.

“Once in control, hackers can manipulate the loading of cargo and turn off any stress monitoring alarms that would alert crew to any undue strain on the vessel,” said Munro.

Read Full Article

Hackers Could Sink a Bulk Carrier, Experts Say