Not On My Yacht! What You Need To Know About Ships Infected By Malware

Safeguarding Your Maritime Assets from Malware Threats

Awareness is crucial regarding the susceptibility of your smart refrigerator and Robovacuum to malware—or, at the very least, it should be. Incidents of cyberattacks targeting IoT devices have become increasingly prevalent. Since the inception of smart technology in the consumer market, let’s explore what might be absent on my yacht!  Discover essential information about ships vulnerable to malware threats.

Securing your electronic devices is crucial, and the first step is fortifying your home network promptly. This proactive measure is essential to identify potential vulnerabilities, including those in unexpected gadgets like your boat, which hackers can exploit quite easily. Taking swift and smart action to strengthen your network will help safeguard not just your high-tech gadgets but also any smart toys you may own.

Numerous contemporary vessels boast paperless navigation, onboard Wi-Fi, and automation, essentially turning them into floating supercomputers. However, these sophisticated systems can become targets for cyber attacks, just like any other connected device. It’s crucial for anyone using the internet to recognize that, along with the convenience of web usage, there are potential drawbacks. Therefore, the architects of internet connections employ cybersecurity measures to safeguard users from potential threats.

Whether you own a boat or not, comparable technologies are rapidly finding their way into cars, bikes, and even scooters. It’s essential to understand how to stay digitally secure, not just on the high seas but also on the roads, paths, and streets where these technologies are becoming increasingly prevalent.


While it might appear that scurvy and pirates are the main worries for sailors, the truth is that cybercrime, a threat that is more pervasive than is generally believed, is increasingly targeting modern ships. In fact, cyber-security incidents have become so prevalent that the international shipping industry has compiled a comprehensive guide. This informative handbook provides detailed insights on recognizing cyberattacks and responding effectively to them.

Regrettably, numerous challenges impacting onboard systems remain shrouded in mystery. These issues can imitate technical glitches, leading to significant delays in finding resolutions. What’s more, due to the longstanding neglect of the industry’s vulnerabilities, attacks often persist without effective solutions in place.

Consider the case of a virus affecting the Electric Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). When this system is installed on vessels, it replaces traditional paper charts entirely. Consequently, if an ECDIS malfunctions, it can leave a ship stranded for days or even weeks until the problem is pinpointed. In one instance, a technician dedicated weeks to troubleshooting a technical disruption but couldn’t identify the source and method of infection. The resulting delay incurred substantial costs, including diagnostic and repair expenses totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Boats are not immune to the impact of newer types of malware. In a reported incident, a ship fell victim to not just one, but two distinct ransomware attacks. The situation became so daunting that the shipowner opted to pay the ransom to liberate the vessels from the predicament. This decision was made despite ample evidence suggesting that paying a ransom does not guarantee the recovery of data or devices.

Read: Streamlining Your Online Experience

Countless stories echo a familiar tune: vessels grapple with malware, prompting owners to shell out significant sums to identify and find a solution. This scenario bears a striking resemblance to how everyday device users react when faced with cyberattacks. Therefore, it is crucial for ship owners, like any other device users, to comprehend how to safeguard their connected machines in the digital realm.

The reality is that the sheer size and complexity of internet-connected devices or machines do not guarantee their security. Whether you own a Wi-Fi-enabled cruise ship, a smart dinghy, or an IoT vacuum, it’s essential to be savvy about how you use and safeguard your device and network from malware.

While comprehensive studies on cyberattacks specific to ships and boats are scarce, experts often point to human error as a primary cause of insecurity and issues—a finding that is not surprising. Even among landlubbers, human error is a major contributor to cyberattacks and data breaches. Therefore, gaining knowledge about common vectors of cyberattacks and adjusting your behavior to avoid them is a good starting point. For instance, it’s wise to refrain from allowing unfamiliar drives, like USBs, to connect to your device and to avoid permitting unknown devices to access your network.

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It’s also wise to equip any device that connects to the web with maximum internet security software. These tools put up firewalls, enact encryption, and help you navigate away from dangerous web pages. Some also come with antivirus kits, which scan attachments and downloads for corruption and keep malware from affecting your device.

Boat or no boat, you should know about the developments in cybercrime because the successes and failures of cybercriminals affect everyone. If major industries like the international shipping industry are struggling to defend against cyberattacks, you need to work all the harder to keep your connected devices safe.

As technology advances, cybercrime is becoming easier than in earlier times. The international system developers wisely work on making the system as secure as possible. At the time, there are problems within the system during which cybercriminals try to get into the system to realize malware. IT specialists are working closely to avoid the major problem of international cyberattackers. By 2022, the cybersecurity team will be fully equipped in case of any emergency. In the near future, techbuzzer will bring the topmost demanding cybersecurity options for all types of the latest systems and devices.

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2 thoughts on “Not On My Yacht! What You Need To Know About Ships Infected By Malware

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