There’s something about being surrounded by the seemingly endless ocean that makes you feel protected from the real world – but alas, there’s some bad news.
Other than the threat of a tsunami – or even a mega electrical storm taking you out- it only takes a few hours of floating in close-range for a hacker to easily take control of your ship.
For reals – but you really shouldn’t be all that surprised.
As cybercrime increases worldwide, the ease of hacking a superyacht was proved by BlackBerry cybercrime expert, Campbell Murray, when he took full control of a mooring ship in the docks of London.
Once he had access, Murray said he could “easily have sailed it – and its super rich owner – off into the sunset,” reports The Guardian.
Speaking at a superyacht conference held in a private members club in central London this week, Murray went on to explain:
We had control of the satellite communications.
We had control of the telephone system, the Wi-Fi, the navigation … And we could wipe the data to erase any evidence of what we had done.
Although the threat is real, it’s still a rare occurrence, but as the rich and famous are easy, high-value targets there have already been a few real-life examples of seaborne attacks:
One billionaire had more than £100 000 stolen when criminals hacked his bank account. Others have been blackmailed with compromising photos, and some have already been forced to pay a ransom to unlock their vessel’s navigation systems.
Although a full hack could take a few hours, accessing the WiFi took Murray and his colleague a mere 30 minutes, allowing them to read, delete and even edit emails.
Murray explained another potentially damning situation:
Imagine you’ve got a high-value guest on one of your ships and they want to send a press release, if I can capture it and change it I can cause a lot of reputational damage.
Then, there’s another: taking control of the ship’s CCTV cameras:
We could let people onto the boat, and then wipe [the CCTV] so no one would know.
Part of the problem is that owners request a strong WiFI network to use for work purposes. The stronger the network, the further hackers can be from the ship to gain access to the network, thereby keeping relatively unidentifiable.
Thinking they’re safe, owners do little to protect themselves and as cybercrime in general increases, there’s no use in thinking that any type of hacking is going to become unfashionable.
Because of this, NEWORDER continues to campaign for businesses – and individuals – to up their cyber security in every which way.
Offering services which verify whether “the best practices and appropriate security measures are in place to mitigate and minimise the impact of known and unknown security risks,” NEWORDER’s service delivery comprises of hands-on experience – something they have been working on for two decades.
Next thing you know, they will be hacking your car and driving you to the middle of nowhere.
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