Maritime Cyber Hacking Database Launched
NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands has launched an open source database that exposes cyber hacking in the worldwide maritime industry.
Researchers led by Dr. Stephen McCombie, professor of maritime IT security, debuted the Maritime Cyber Attack Database (MCAD), which contains over 160 incidents, including the location spoofing of NATO ships visiting Ukraine in the Black Sea by Russia in 2021.
The database not only covers incidents impacting vessels, but ports and other maritime facilities worldwide as well. 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.
“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,” McCombie commented.
The research group will also use MCAD to produce reports and research papers showing trends and the results of detailed analysis on subsets of the data.
“The incident database is not a one-off and the collection will be regularly updated and augmented. While we searched manually for the initial research, we are now developing AI to help automate the identification of new incidents from open sources and identify further details on already known incidents,” said McCombie.
To provide a complete overview of all cyber security threats worldwide, the research group is asking corporations and other research institutions to contribute to the database—a tall ask for shipping, an industry that rarely admits to its own setbacks.