Covert Wars: Are Shipping Navigation Systems Being Hacked?

Destiny's Soldier

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It's inconceivable that accidents such as happened today off the coast of China can happen in such as highly supervised controlled environment. US Navy vessels have also been involved in collisions, including a collision between the USS John S McCain and a tanker off Singapore last August that killed 10 sailors. To crash 1 ship is careless or maybe reckless, to have a series of collisions in such a short space of time sounds like a covert war between hackers. 4 US Military Ships admitted collisions and now an Iranian tanker off China.

Such hacking would never be admitted between state actors.


Massive oil tanker 'in danger of exploding' off Chinese coast as 32 sailors remain missing




AN IRANIAN OIL tanker ablaze off China’s east coast is at risk of exploding or sinking, as fears grow for 32 missing sailors amid warnings of a potential environmental disaster.

The huge fire was still raging this morning around the stricken vessel, which had been carrying 136,000 tonnes of light crude oil, some 36 hours after it collided with a cargo ship.


How hackers are targeting the shipping industry - BBC News

These incidents are hugely disruptive to maritime businesses, but truly catastrophic scenarios might involve a hacker attempting to sabotage or even destroy a ship itself, through targeted manipulation of its systems.

Could that happen? Could, for example, a determined and well-resourced attacker alter a vessel's systems to provoke a collision?

"It's perfectly feasible," says Mr Saunders. "We've demonstrated proof-of-concept that that could happen."

And the experts are finding new ways into ships' systems remotely. One independent cyber-security researcher, who goes by the pseudonym of x0rz, recently used an app called Ship Tracker to find open satellite communication systems, VSat, on board vessels.

In x0rz's case, the VSat on an actual ship in South American waters had default credentials - the username "admin" and password "1234" - and so was easy to access.

It would be possible, x0rz believes, to change the software on the VSat to manipulate it.
https://rntfnd.org/2017/11/25/hackers-took-full-control-of-container-ships-navigation-systems-for-10-hours-ihs-fairplay/

In February 2017 hackers reportedly took control of the navigation systems of a German-owned 8,250 teu container vessel en route from Cyprus to Djibouti for 10 hours. “Suddenly the captain could not manoeuvre,” an industry source who did not wish to be identified told Fairplay sister title Safety At Sea (SAS). “The IT system of the vessel was completely hacked.”
 
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gerhard dengler

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The number of collisions and mishaps seems to be on the increase, which could mean that navigational systems are being deliberately hacked to cause these things to happen.

If these collisions and mishaps are being orchestrated deliberately, what is the purpose?

To cause damage is one purpose. But are there other purposes? For example if these systems are being hacked, are the hackers trialling their hacking on ships with other things in mind, such as hacking aircraft navigational systems?
 

Destiny's Soldier

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Remotely hacking ships shouldn't be this easy, and yet it really is.

A group of cybersecurity researchers is having a field day online with the discovery that the configuration of certain ships' satellite antenna systems leaves them wide open to attack — and the possible consequences are startling.

Anyone who gained access to the system in question, and was so inclined, could manually change a ship's GPS coordinates or possibly even brick the boat's navigation system entirely by uploading new firmware. And why would anyone want to do that?
Not only ships - MH370 could have been a hack and intercepted remotely.

We would never be told.

I mean after 9/11 in 2001 remotely intercepting Aircraft was being bragged about as the solution to onboard hijackers. Now the hijackers can do it all from their basements.
 
D

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The number of collisions and mishaps seems to be on the increase, which could mean that navigational systems are being deliberately hacked to cause these things to happen.

If these collisions and mishaps are being orchestrated deliberately, what is the purpose?

To cause damage is one purpose. But are there other purposes? For example if these systems are being hacked, are the hackers trialling their hacking on ships with other things in mind, such as hacking aircraft navigational systems?
Could be an element of that but the reality is that there isn't law nor order on the high seas. No meaningful regulation, ships registered here, there and everywhere, no clear record of the beneficial ownership of vessels, crews with little or no training and terrible conditions, and the few qualified officers on any ship are seriously overworked and working to impossible schedules, poor maintenance and inspection and ships being sent to sea with more emphasis on insurance than seaworthiness.
 

Destiny's Soldier

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Could be an element of that but the reality is that there isn't law nor order on the high seas. No meaningful regulation, ships registered here there and everywhere, no clear record of the beneficial ownership of vessels, crews with little or no training and terrible conditions, and the few qualified officers on any ship are seriously overworked and working to impossible schedules, poor maintenance and inspection and ships being sent to sea with more emphasis on insurance than seaworthiness.
If you ever want to commit murder the high seas is the place to be.
 

Ardillaun

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It's inconceivable that accidents such as happened today off the coast of China can happen in such as highly supervised controlled environment. US Navy vessels have also been involved in collisions, including a collision between the USS John S McCain and a tanker off Singapore last August that killed 10 sailors. To crash 1 ship is careless or maybe reckless, to have a series of collisions in such a short space of time sounds like a covert war between hackers. 4 US Military Ships admitted collisions and now an Iranian tanker off China.

Such hacking would never be admitted between state actors.
For a govt to be involved in a disaster like the Iranian tanker collision would be a massive risk to take. Your credibility would be completely shot if you were ever found out.
 

mr_anderson

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Perhaps someone has been listening to Bill Burr.

[video=youtube;J-T0o6Wglkw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-T0o6Wglkw[/video]
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
I did notice the spate of accidental collisions recently involving US navy vessels and did think it odd considering the technology those things have aboard.

Hacking nav systems seems intuitively to be a possibility.
 

Destiny's Soldier

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For a govt to be involved in a disaster like the Iranian tanker collision would be a massive risk to take. Your credibility would be completely shot if you were ever found out.
Hold on get it into perspective:

The US Military attacked a MSF Hospital in Afghanistan for over an hour. They machine gunned doctors and patients as they ran for their lives. Oh that was a mistake. Did anyone pay for it? Was their any sanctions? Was there anyone prosecuted? You cannot be an occupying army and reside inside a country for 15 years and not know where the hospitals are.

The US Military attacked the Syrian Army whom it is not officially at war as they slept in their beds in the middle of a ceasefire killing at least 100.

August 8th 2014 - To December 31st 2017 an overall total of between 17,040 and 25,299 civilian non-combatant fatalities had been locally alleged from 2,428 separate reported Coalition incidents, in both Iraq and Syria. Of these, Airwars presently estimates that a minimum of 6,047 to 9,210 civilians are likely to have died in Coalition actions. However, some caution is needed given the significant challenges of casualty verification at present.

https://airwars.org/civilian-casualty-claims/

These are killings by Governments committed openly. Do you think anyone cares or is going to do anything about who killed who?

Hacking is just another weapon in the armoury for killing people.
 

Old Mr Grouser

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The number of collisions and mishaps seems to be on the increase, which could mean that navigational systems are being deliberately hacked to cause these things to happen.

If these collisions and mishaps are being orchestrated deliberately, what is the purpose?

To cause damage is one purpose. But are there other purposes? For example if these systems are being hacked, are the hackers trialling their hacking on ships with other things in mind, such as hacking aircraft navigational systems?
That's sometimes the style of guerilla warfare.

If you don't know the purpose you can only speculate about who's doing it.

This lecture was given in London a few years ago:


[video=youtube;8x1T-fFPw8Y]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x1T-fFPw8Y[/video]
 

Shpake

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The number of collisions and mishaps seems to be on the increase, which could mean that navigational systems are being deliberately hacked to cause these things to happen.

If these collisions and mishaps are being orchestrated deliberately, what is the purpose?

To cause damage is one purpose. But are there other purposes? For example if these systems are being hacked, are the hackers trialling their hacking on ships with other things in mind, such as hacking aircraft navigational systems?
Not trying to be facile or that, but the Insurance companies might be able to throw some light on the matter. Das Kapital has the finest nose for sniffing out what the reality is. I recall back in the early nineties that Insurance companies were unwilling to provide storm cover to households in Florida. For me that was the indicator that global warming/ climate change was for real.
 

gerhard dengler

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There's a lot of ships. Sometimes they crash.

Look at the number of them:

https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:124.4/centery:33.2/zoom:6
Thanks for that interesting link.

That region of Asia is the most densely populated region on the planet, therefore it follows that the traffic in commercial goods by sea and by air and over land is bound to be busier there, compared to less populated regions of the world.

I heard a professor from Southampton University saying earlier on radio that given the sophistication of navigational systems these days that there should be no collisions. Ships and ship staff have all of the information to hand in order to navigate safely according to him.
 

parentheses

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For a govt to be involved in a disaster like the Iranian tanker collision would be a massive risk to take. Your credibility would be completely shot if you were ever found out.

I don't think it would bother the Israelis too much, as an example.
 

Destiny's Soldier

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Shpake

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Hold on get it into perspective:

The US Military attacked a MSF Hospital in Afghanistan for over an hour. They machine gunned doctors and patients as they ran for their lives. Oh that was a mistake. Did anyone pay for it? Was their any sanctions? Was there anyone prosecuted? You cannot be an occupying army and reside inside a country for 15 years and not know where the hospitals are.

The US Military attacked the Syrian Army whom it is not officially at war as they slept in their beds in the middle of a ceasefire killing at least 100.

August 8th 2014 - To December 31st 2017 an overall total of between 17,040 and 25,299 civilian non-combatant fatalities had been locally alleged from 2,428 separate reported Coalition incidents, in both Iraq and Syria. Of these, Airwars presently estimates that a minimum of 6,047 to 9,210 civilians are likely to have died in Coalition actions. However, some caution is needed given the significant challenges of casualty verification at present.

https://airwars.org/civilian-casualty-claims/

These are killings by Governments committed openly. Do you think anyone cares or is going to do anything about who killed who?

Hacking is just another weapon in the armoury for killing people.
I myself have the same dull view on politics and world events, but in the absence of the statistics I rely on my knowledge of human nature. Your examples of the US "mistakes" or collateral damage just doesn't shock me any more. Bear in mind that the Syrian/Russian side were using chemical methods. And as for Isis or the other groups, of course they are going to hide in among the civilian population. That's what asymmetric war is all about. Were they to have their HQ location in some place outside a civilian area they would be sitting ducks. My sympathy for the poor victims who got caught up in it all.
 

Shpake

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But these huge oil tankers must by this stage be all equipped with (what's the word?) the equivalence of transponders ... guidance systems of some sort... silly me! if they can be hacked. Yes I should go back and think about it.:-(
 

robut

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Interesting that so far no one has gone beyond ships navigation hacking & speculated that, if this is happening to ships, could it inevitably also happen to aeroplanes?

As in aeroplane nav system hacks by terrorists or whoever .. and they would not even need to be aboard a plane or get involved with a bomb on board. Even a hack to take control of a plane to crash it into something?

Could it also happen to cars, buses etc .. Though less mass terror in that?
 

Clanrickard

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Hold on get it into perspective:

The US Military attacked a MSF Hospital in Afghanistan for over an hour. They machine gunned doctors and patients as they ran for their lives. Oh that was a mistake. Did anyone pay for it? Was their any sanctions? Was there anyone prosecuted? You cannot be an occupying army and reside inside a country for 15 years and not know where the hospitals are.

The US Military attacked the Syrian Army whom it is not officially at war as they slept in their beds in the middle of a ceasefire killing at least 100.

August 8th 2014 - To December 31st 2017 an overall total of between 17,040 and 25,299 civilian non-combatant fatalities had been locally alleged from 2,428 separate reported Coalition incidents, in both Iraq and Syria. Of these, Airwars presently estimates that a minimum of 6,047 to 9,210 civilians are likely to have died in Coalition actions. However, some caution is needed given the significant challenges of casualty verification at present.

https://airwars.org/civilian-casualty-claims/

These are killings by Governments committed openly. Do you think anyone cares or is going to do anything about who killed who?

Hacking is just another weapon in the armoury for killing people.
More gibberish from you.
 


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