Cyber adversaries target commercial vessels
The U.S. Coast Guard Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 04-19, “Cyber Adversaries Targeting Commercial Vessels,” to inform the maritime industry of recent email phishing and malware intrusion attempts that targeted commercial vessels.
Cyber adversaries are attempting to gain sensitive information, including the content of an official Notice of Arrival (NOA) using email addresses that pose as an official Port State Control (PSC) authority such as: firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, the Coast Guard has received reports of malicious software designed to disrupt shipboard computer systems.
Vessel masters have reported suspicious activity to the Coast Guard National Response Center (NRC) in accordance with Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §101.305 – Reporting, enabling the Coast Guard and other federal agencies to counter cyber threats across the global maritime network.
As a reminder, suspicious activity and breaches of security must be reported to the NRC at (800) 424- 8802. For cyber attempts/attacks that do not impact the operating condition of the vessel or result in a pollution incident, owners or operators may alternatively report to the 24/7 National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) at (888) 282-0870 in accordance with Policy Letter 08-16, “Reporting Suspicious Activity and Breaches of Security.” When reporting to the NCCIC, it is imperative that the reporting party notify the NCCIC that the vessel is a Coast Guard regulated entity in order to satisfy 33 CFR §101.305 reporting requirements. The NCCIC will in turn forward the report to the NRC, which will then notify the cognizant Coast Guard Captain of the Port.
For more information on the NCCIC’s services, cyberrelated information, best practices and other resources, click here. The Coast Guard applauds companies and their vessels for remaining vigilant in the identification and prompt reporting of suspicious cyber-related activities.
Questions pertaining to this bulletin may be directed to the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance’s Port State Control Division at PortStateControl@uscg.mil.