Shipping personnel in danger of cyber crimes

By Curious

Mike Yarwood, freight insurance specialist with TT Club, the leading provider of insurance and related risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry, has warned of the increasing risk of cyber crimes targeting ports, carriers and terminals. At the TOC Europe’s Container Supply Chain Conference, held in London, he said that the "cyber-criminals" are focusing on cargo/loads with high value. The insurance claims expert has studied in deep the trend, which is fast-growing.

“We see incidents which at first appear to be a petty break-in at office facilities. The damage appears minimal – nothing is physically removed. More thorough post incident investigations however reveal that the ‘thieves’ were actually installing spyware within the operator’s IT network,” he said.

The criminals are more likely to target personal devices because they are less secured. Major hackers' instruments are the social networks. The cyber-criminals are able to extract codes for containers from terminal facilities or passwords to discover delivery instructions. Yarwood explained in his TOC presentation: 

danger of cyber attacks

“In instances discovered to date. There has been an apparent focus on specific individual containers in attempts to track the units through the supply chain to the destination port. Such systematic tracking is coupled with compromising the terminal’s IT systems to gain access to, or generate release codes for specific containers. Criminals are known to have targeted containers with illegal drugs in this way however such methods also have greater scope in facilitating high value cargo thefts and human trafficking.” 

TT Club and Yarwood advise the operators to identify the value of the data stored on devices and to be watchful. According to them, the first step is awareness.

“Education of employees across all disciplines of the organisation is crucial. Making them aware of robust risk management policies designed to defend the organisation from cyber-crime, " added Mike Yarwood.

He concluded that the level of threat is in dependence of the organisations’ own culture.