New technologies open up new opportunities for the criminals
The Skuld P&I Club has issued an Advisory to inform about the increasing risk of fraud and crime in the shipping industry. New technologies have opened up new opportunities for the criminals; shipping is now entering the age of cyber crime.
The challenge for ship owners is even more complex because cyber criminals are targeting diverse facets of the shipping industry. For example, there was a well-documented case of drug smugglers subverting an IT system at a major port in order to facilitate the smuggling of contraband in containers.
The rise of targeted piracy and drug smuggling reflects how criminal organizationshave become more sophisticated. They will seek detailed intelligence on potentialtargets and will use modern technology to source information and data to assist intheir planning and execution of criminal ventures. Drug traffickers, drug and peoplesmugglers, pirates and fraudsters of all stripes are taking every opportunity to gaininformation that they can turn to their advantage.
While shipping and logistics companies are expert at maritime transport, they maynot have the same experience with IT security. It will be essential to invest time,effort and capital into security measures to ensure these cyber risks areappropriately managed. Companies leave themselves open to great danger whenthey do not take into account all the potential risks and loopholes when designingand implementing their company-wide cyber security strategy.
Risks in Shipping
Be it a problem on the shore side or on board the vessel, shipping companiesmay be vulnerable to data theft, fraud and even pirate attack if key personnelcarelessly or deliberately act against the company’s interest. Followingnumerous piracy attacks in West Africa as well as South Asia, it has becomeincreasingly clear that some incidents may have been facilitated or assistedby persons who are meant to work for the ship-owner. Organizations such asReCAAP have started to warn about the risk of crew involvement. Additionallythere has been a reported incident of an Insider on the shore side assisting inan attempt to divert freight payments to illegitimate bank account detailsthrough apparently “legitimate” emails appearing to originate from the shipowner to counterparties.
Whether large or small, specialist or global player, everyone in the shipping industrywill benefit from a greater awareness and preparedness to deal with the challengesof modern IT-assisted fraud in the 21 century.
Learn how to guard against the risk , what to do when fraud is suspected what the Skuld P&I Club recommeends by reading Skuld’s Advisory on Cyber Crime and the Shipping Industry
Also, the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in August joined industry calls for parties in the maritime sector to be on guard against cyber-attacks.