sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Newsletters Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : AIS concern - serious vulnerability to hacking
AIS concern - serious vulnerability to hacking


'AIS data could be vulnerable'    .

That AIS system you have such faith in may not be so secure after all. Hundreds of thousands of vessels, including many sailing boats worldwide, rely on the Automatic Identification System (AIS) for sharing vessel movements. Now the system has shown to be easily vulnerable to hacking.

Researchers have announced at a conference in Kuala Lumpur that they have found that it is possible to cause fake vessels to appear, real ones to disappear, and to issue false emergency alerts using cheap radio equipment.

Researchers with the computer security company Trend Micro discovered the problem, which stems from a lack of security controls in AIS, a system used by an estimated 400,000 vessels worldwide.

AIS is an easy target because the signals don’t currently have any authentication or encryption mechanism, making it simple to use software to craft a signal designed to do mischief, says Marco Balduzzi, Trend Micro researcher. 'All the ships out there are affected by this problem; it’s not tied to the hardware but to the protocol.'

International Maritime Organization rules make AIS mandatory on passenger vessels and on cargo ships over a certain size. Lighthouses, buoys, and other marine fixtures also transmit their location using the system.

'We were really able to compromise this system from the root level,' says Kyle Wilhoit, a researcher with Trend Micro’s Future Threat Research team. By purchasing a 700-euro piece of AIS equipment and connecting it to a computer in the vicinity of a port, the researchers could intercept signals from nearby craft and send out modified versions to make it appear to other AIS users that a vessel was somewhere it was not.

Using the same equipment and software, it is possible to force ships to stop broadcasting their movements using AIS by abusing a feature that lets authorities manage how nearby AIS transmitters operate. AIS transmissions could also be sent out that make fake vessels or structures such as lighthouses or navigational buoys appear, and to stage spoof emergencies such as a 'man in the water' alert or collision warning. No direct attacks were staged on any real vessels.

The researchers showed that their spoof signals were faithfully reproduced on the maps provided by online services that monitor AIS data.

From Trend Micro: Spoof radio signals convinced an online ship tracking service that this fake craft had traveled on a path near Italy that spelled out the hacker term “pwned,” which describes a system that has been compromised by an attacker. -  .. .  
One online service was fooled into showing a real tugboat disappearing from the Mississippi and reappearing on a Dallas lake, and (see photo left) depicting a fake vessel traveling off Italy on a course that spelled out the hacker term for a compromised system: 'pwned.'

Ships and marine authorities also use radar to detect other vessels and obstacles. But AIS was introduced as an easier and more powerful alternative, and people have come to rely on it, says Wilhoit. Balduzzi and Wilhoit collaborated on the research with independent Italian security researcher Alessandro Pasta, and presented their findings at the Hack In the Box security conference in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

The researchers attempted to notify several international marine and communication authorities, but only received a response from the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency that deals with global communications policy. 'They seem to be on board with changing the protocol,' says Wilhoit, 'but it’s one of those foundational problems that will take time to fix.' AIS equipment has the protocol built in, so rolling out an improved form of AIS requires replacing existing equipment.

Even deciding on how to update the AIS protocol and regulations could take some time. The International Maritime Organization, another U.N. agency, is the international authority most directly responsible for AIS design and use, but a spokesperson, Natasha Brown, told MIT Technology Review that she was not aware that any research on AIS security had been presented to the agency. 'This issue has not been formally raised at IMO, so there has been no [internal] discussion or IMO recommendations or guidance.'

Only a formal paper submitted via a government with IMO membership or an organization with consultative status would lead to any response, said Brown.

So if you were just about to upgrade your AIS system, it might be wise to wait until the protocol is changed - or at least until we find how long that will be...

Thanks to the Ocean Cruising Club, the world-wide club for cruising sailors, for the notification about this news, and more information can be obtained about Trend Micro by clicking here.


by Tom Simonite, Technology Review/Sail-World

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=115905

7:25 PM Sat 19 Oct 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

Dutch Chief Mate suspended following tragic yacht incident by Maritime and Coastguard Agency Press,










Rescued Australian father and son are recovering fast by Sean Flynn | The Newport Daily News,




Australian father-son duo delays trip back home by By Matt Sheley | The Newport Daily News,
















































Getting your gear (wheel) on by Rob Kothe and Jedda Murphy Sail-World,




Boat Docking Secrets - How to Avoid Springline Snap-back
New legislation would fix renewable fuel standard
New legislation would fix renewable fuel standard
Provisioning the aCappella Way
Ilen’s Whiskey Plank Ceremony at Hegarty’s Boatyard
Best Loch Ness Monster evidence may have been destroyed
Tall ship falls over - Could your boat do this?
Two Somali pirates appeal in deaths of four Americans aboard yacht
Producing jet fuel from ocean algae
FUSION® unveils 750 and 650 Series Marine Entertainment Systems
The true story of Donald Crowhurst set for a major film adaptation
Humans drive 500 species of land animals extinct, now marine?
Predicting coral reef futures under climate change
Sailors for the Sea launches ocean conservation movement to heal ocean
Family rescued after catamaran breaks in half
2015 Ocean Cruising Adventures - First to finish without really trying
Winter Storm Juno expected to impact Northeast - Take precautions!
Sailing Sclerosis Oceans of Hope arrives in Panama City + Video
Ocean Cruising Adventures Series preview
Planning an open ocean cruise? Become a Citizen Oceanographer
Croatia First Regatta - Brand new limited entry one design event   
Boot 2015 – Worlds largest boat show shows optimism   
Doyle Sails offer sail repair and basic rigging service at BOISW   
World Arc Leg 2 - Fleet depart for San Blas   
World Arc - First arrivals to St Helena island   
2014 warmest year since records began + Video   
Volcano creates large new Tongan island   
Summer camps for teens aboard an extraordinary tall ship   
Highland Yacht Club - Lake Ontario’s hidden jewel of a Yacht Club   
Particular Harbour – Gananoque   
SE Asia tanker hijacks rose in 2014 - IMB report reveals   
Rescuing Ben Ainslie from a boat? Stranger things have happened at sea   
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Success, new dates, multihulls offer   
Cruising like a Vendée Racer   
World ARC - Two rally fleets set sail   
Hidden battles on Reefs - How will corals fare in a changing ocean?   
Coral reefs threatened by a combination of changing ocean conditions   
Shipwrecked Australian yacht crew helped by Indonesians   
2016 Tonga Rally preview - Departure planned from Opua   
Ocean Cruising Club announces award recipients   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT