Cyber security isn’t confined to land. In fact, cyber-attacks are impacting superyachts and the superyacht industry. In recent weeks, for example, phishing scams have targeted yacht brokers, involving fraudulent wire-transfer instructions. Last year, hackers held a charter yacht’s onboard computers for ransomware. A new campaign, Be Cyber Aware at Sea, spotlights related real issues at sea—which could affect your yacht.
While Be Cyber Aware at Sea is oriented more toward the shipping industry, the warnings apply to any and every vessel, shipyard, yacht-management office, and more. Furthermore, companies involved in the superyacht sector, like Ince & Co. and NSSLGlobal, support the campaign. In fact, NSSLGlobal, which provides satellite communications, funded this Be Cyber Aware at Sea film, along with several other parties.
As the film points out, 99 percent of cyber-attacks target individuals, versus a corporation’s IT infrastructure. For these criminals, the person-to-person business is quite successful. Indeed, you’ll see re-enactments of real security breaches, hearing from the affected individuals themselves. In one scene, likely occurring aboard vessels across the globe, a captain plugs his smartphone into the ECDIS terminal’s USB port. Malware on the phone then infiltrates the ship’s systems.
Plus, the Be Cyber Aware at Sea video provides easy-to-implement guidance on what you, your crew, and others should—and should not—do. NSSLGlobal’s CEO, Sally-Anne Ray, rightfully points out, “No one is immune from the cyber threat.” She adds, “This film is an important initiative to not only raise awareness of the risks, but to help protect the industry from attack.” Chris Young, executive producer of the production company behind the video, Fidra Films, says, “All the feedback so far has been very positive, and it is our hope that the film reaches as wide an audience as possible.”
The film isn’t the only aspect of Be Cyber Aware at Sea. A dedicated website contains a variety of downloadable materials. Inmarsat, for example, has an overview of what it’s doing to create secure onboard systems. Other white papers are from the major classification societies. Yet another document: best practices for social media usage while onboard.
All resources in the Be Cyber Aware at Sea campaign are free for you to use.