Researchers Launch Maritime Cyber Attack Database

Researchers Launch Maritime Cyber Attack Database

International team set up defences for cybercriminals

International researchers have launched the Maritime Cyber Attack Database (MCAD), a database of incidents involving the worldwide maritime sector in order to meet the pressing challenge of cybercrime in the logistics space.

Led by Dr Stephen McCombie, Professor of Maritime IT Security at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, the NHL Stenden research group collected information on over 160 cyber incidents in the maritime industry for the MCAD.

The incidents in the database demonstrate the relevance of cyber security across the board of today’s maritime industry and the vulnerabilities that exist.

The "Scope is Surprsing"

Dr McCombie said: “The simulated attack in Ukraine was all about provoking a reaction and so-called ‘deploying disruptive power.’

"It appeared as if the British and Dutch warships were near the coast of Russian-occupied Crimea entering Russia’s main naval base, but it turned out to be a virtual trip that never took place.

"The scope of what is possible today is surprising, so we need to educate governments and companies about these kinds of cyber-attacks and help them understand not only how to react to them, but how to be prepared for them.”

Dr Stephen McCombie has been the driving force behind MCAD
Dr Stephen McCombie has been the driving force behind MCAD

The database not only covers incidents impacting vessels, but also ports and other maritime facilities worldwide. 

Cybercrime has become increasingly important in shipping, with criminals stealing billions each year from the supply chain.

This was why cybercrime was a key issue at the recent TLME Future of Logistics III.

Now available publicly online, the research group expects the database will help improve cyber security awareness in the sector and provide data for further research and more accurate simulations in this critical area.

Read more: UAE Cyber Security Council Beefs Up Defense Against Cyber Attacks

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