Cyberattack on Clarkson’s shipbroker reaffirms industry’s vulnerability


Following the announcement yesterday that ship broker Clarkson’s confirmed its computer systems were breached in a major cyber-security attack, Naval Dome CEO Itai Sela has said that the maritime industry needs to wake up to the cyber threat.

“[This attack] is a further indication how the global maritime industry is very much in the cross-hairs of the cybercriminal,” he said. “The rise in the number of onboard and shore-based systems that are connected to the Internet and the use of wireless and cloud-based technologies is changing the security landscape.”

Clarkson’s claims that the attacker stole some of the company's more sensitive data and threatened to release it unless the company paid a ransom.

The company, though, has chosen not to pay up and has warned shareholders and customers accordingly, according to a written statement it gave to the London Stock Exchange. The company’s share price fell by some 5% in the immediate aftermath of the hack Wednesday.

“The shipping industry must make sure that these developments do not expose all sectors of the shipping industry, including the cruise, leisure and merchant segments, to the sophisticated and diverse methods used by hackers, political and environmental activists, business competitors and ransom pirates,” said Sela in a statement released Thursday.

“While there is no argument that increased connectivity will deliver significant commercial and operational advantages, today, more than ever, cyber security has to be the number one priority for the shipping industry,” he added.

“To this end, we are working with key stakeholders to establish global cyber maritime defence standards and guidelines based around our intelligence agency grade, multi-layered cyber protection technology."