It has been reported that tug owners have been warned to be vigilant for cyber attacks and malware after a tug in the US was targeted. Towage vessels and their crews are increasingly connected to online services during operations, increasing their vulnerability to cyber threats, malware, viruses and hackers. These concerns were raised by the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) – Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) in the US after a tug was the victim of a phishing email.
This was the first time a tug reported receiving this type of phishing email, according to MTS-ISAC, which advised the whole maritime industry of the dangers of cyber attacks. Its cyber security advisory said a tug operating organisation received the phishing email with a voicemail-themed attachment, then notified Louisiana InfraGard of the cyber threat, which notified MTS-ISAC. This malware email spoofed the vessel operator as the sender and was sent to the tug with an Office 365 eVoiceMail Express-themed attachment.