Singapore's first maritime network security test platform is scheduled for launch next year

16 Apr 2024

Lianhe Zaobao, 16 Apr 2024, 国首个海事业网络安全试验平台拟明年启用 (summarised translation)

Singapore's first maritime network security test platform built by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is expected to be completed next year. By then, this platform will allow maritime operators to simulate various cyber attacks and defense drills, thereby improving the security capabilities of different system softwares.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore signed a memorandum of understanding with four institutions including SUTD on Tuesday (April 16) at the Singapore Maritime Week. They plan to use the Maritime Testbed of Shipboard Operational Technology (MariOT) developed by SUTD to provide regular security trainings for local ships and conduct special research with Estonian universities and government agencies to identify maritime network security vulnerabilities.

Professor Zhou Jianying, director of SUTD’s iTrust research centre, said in an interview at Maritime Week that compared with the financial sector, cyberattacks on ships are more difficult to prevent and may lead to heavy casualties and property losses.

Prof Zhou said: "If a ship is attacked by a network, the situation will be more urgent, and we will need to detect the attack more accurately and in a timely manner."

He explained that ships rely on navigation, communication, power, cargo management and other systems to operate together, and the control software of each part may become the target of cyber attacks.

"If the global positioning system signal is interfered with, navigation errors will occur; there is currently no unified certification standard for a ship's identification system. If it is 'forged', it will send wrong information to surrounding ships; the electronic map on the ship may also be invaded by malware.”