“It is deeply worrying that four tankers have been attacked outside the strategically important Strait of Hormuz. Our indications are that these incidents could develop to include cyber-attacks on vessels operating in the region.
“It is highly likely that vessels operating in high-risk areas could be targeted, systems hacked and GPS spoofed in order to render vessels immobile or re-directed as part of wider actions. There has been increased activity in the cyber domain over the last few months, which is very worrying.
“While we hope these incidents will not escalate, shipowners with operations in the area must be vigilant and carry out inspections of all their PC-based navigation and machinery control systems. Ship operators should not allow crew members or technicians to plug-in USBs or external devices onboard or download maps and charts for specific areas, unless they absolutely need to do so. We also advised that operators check their insurance policies to ensure that OT systems are covered in the event of any cyber damage.”