Invisible attacks: Maritime shipping critical infrastructure attacks



The movement of people and goods around the world is certainly no easy task and is heavily reliant on the intricate maneuvering of systems, processes, people and more than ever, technology. These systems to move the shipment of goods and transportation of people are critical to the world economy; particularly to the over 315 million people living in the United States. The importance of shipping and transportation infrastructure to the United States is reflected in the inclusion of this infrastructure on the Cyber Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) list created and maintained by the United States federal government. According to the Bureau of Transportation from 2009, this multi-trillion dollar
industry consists of maritime, aviation, and ground transportation systems including road and railways; all of which are at the core of transportation operations.
The world’s growing reliance on advanced information technology has introduced opportunities for cyber attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in the information technology enabled systems. This report analyzes documented cyber attacks on the shipping and transportation industry and discusses the potential impacts of that analysis on U.S. shipping and transportation infrastructure.

“We count on computer networks to deliver our oil and gas, our power and our water. We rely on them for public transportation and air traffic control… But just as we failed in the past to invest in our physical infrastructure – our roads, our bridges and rails – we’ve failed to invest in the security of our digital infrastructure… This status quo is no longer acceptable – not when there’s so much at stake. We can and we must do better.”
President Obama, May 29, 2009



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