Hurricane Irma Heads for Florida

On Wednesday, Hurricane Irma swept over Puerto Rico, leaving one million residents without electrical power and 150,000 without running water. Flood levels have been reported in rivers across the island, and more rain is expected. The U.S. Coast Guard has begun overflights to assess the damage and search for residents in distress.

“Our first priority is ensuring safety of lives,” said Captain Eric King, the commander of USCG Sector San Juan.  “Following that, reopening the ports is a top priority, but we have to make sure we also do it safely. Opening the port prematurely could create a situation for a greater risk or incident, which could ultimately result in an even longer port closure.”

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CMF Commander’s Conference in Bahrain discusses Maritime Security Transit Corridor

170907-N-YB753-048Vice Adm. Kevin M. Donegan, commander of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), speaks at the CMF Commander’s Conference onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

In his opening speech, at the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Commander’s Conference held in Bahrain, CMF Commander, Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan, discussed the background behind the establishment of a “Maritime Security Transit Corridor” by CMF, as announced on 6th September.

Providing the background to the establishment of the Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC), Admiral Donegan explained that there continues to be risk associated with transits through the Gulf of Aden, Bab-el-Mandeb and the Southern Red Sea.  The risk of piracy and attacks by small, high speed boats using small arms, rocket propelled grenades, and significant amounts of explosives remains. To date, these small boat attacks have been unsuccessful and the identity of the attackers remains unclear. However, they demonstrate the continuing risks to the maritime community during passage through these waters.

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Malaysia says foils hijacking of Thai tanker, 10 pirates arrested

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian authorities thwarted the hijacking of a Thai oil tanker on Thursday and arrested 10 suspected Indonesian pirates on board the ship, a maritime security agency commander said.

A special team from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) stormed the MT Tanker MGT1, off the coast of the northeastern state of Terengganu, nearly 10 hours after it was reported missing on Wednesday.

While the 10 were detained on the tanker, three suspects on a smaller boat nearby managed to escape, and an MMEA vessel has been sent to find them, the agency’s chief, Maritime Admiral Zulkifli Abu Bakar, said in a statement.

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Lisa Forte, Cyber Protect Officer for the Police Cyber Crime Unit in the UK, speaks to MAST on key cyber threats to the maritime industry

Lisa Forte, a Cyber Protect Officer for the Police Cyber Crime Unit in the UK, is onboard with MAST’s cyber awareness campaign. Lisa comments and advises on 2 key threats and the fundamentals of protecting from cyber-attacks. This article follows on from MAST’s recent co-presenting on maritime cyber security with Shipowners P&I Club. A link to the webinar can be found below the article.

Tackling the cyber threats to the maritime sector
There’s a plethora of information on the cyber threat to the maritime industry. It is argued that attackers could take over your guidance and positioning systems and steer your ship wherever they want. Or that attackers could hold your port to ransom by stopping all your automated processes. This is all true, and some of these complicated attacks may have already happened in some limited cases. Whilst you should devote time and attention to mitigating these potential threats, a risk assessment of the cyber landscape shows that we need to focus on the real cyber-crimes that are happening right here, right now. In my role I see the same attacks used across all industry sectors. The majority of cyber threats are indiscriminate. They don’t care if you are an orthodontist or an oil carrier. As long as you have money and you have internet connected devices then you are a target.

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The developing security situation in the HRA

With the next inter-monsoon period starting mid-September, we believe it is time to take a fresh appreciation of the security situation in the HRA. We think this is especially important given that during the last March to May inter-monsoon period several Pirate Action Groups (PAG’s) put to sea, as well as there being a second demonstrated terrorist attempt.

The following report reviews each threat location and type in turn.

To read the full report click here

MAST co-presents maritime cyber security webinar at Shipowners P&I Club

MAST’s cyber security division co-presented a webinar on the 2nd August aimed at outlining sources for potential cyber security vulnerabilities and provide guidance to mitigate against the risks.

A recording of the webinar is available to view, using the following link and the password Vm53sqaT

MAST to co-present webinar on maritime cyber security

MAST will be co-presenting a webinar on maritime cyber security on Wednesday 2nd August, alongside Stephen Jones of Mc Watt & Jones, chaired by Shipowners P&I Club.

The webinar will discuss in detail the unprecedented threats posed by new-technologies in the maritime sector, how risks can be mitigated and how the impact of any attack can be limited. Given the recent maritime cyber events, this is particularly topical for a range of audiences.

The webinar will be a closed event of around 100 participants engaging with the two presenters. It will then be re-shown privately to a select audience in the Americas before being made publicly available globally.

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Houthi missile strike on Coalition warship off Mokha

On the 14th June, a UAE coalition warship was hit by a missile as it left Mokha port in the Yemen southern Red Sea. The attack was claimed by the Houthi rebels and it has since been reported by the coalition that there was minimal damage to the ship and that one crew member was injured.

Video footage released by Houthi media shows the attack occurred during hours of darkness and that there was a significant explosion on the warship.

Houthi rebels successfully hit UAE supply ship HSV-2 Swift in October 2016 and targeted US warships repeatedly. In response, the US destroyed a number of fixed radar stations ashore, thought to have been used for target identification. The successful attack on the 14th June demonstrates that the Houthi’s retain the capability to accurately launch missiles from shore to sea. It should be noted that all missile attacks to date during the Yemen civil war have been directed at military targets, not commercial vessels. However, the risk of mistargeting or collateral damage remains.

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