New Report Highlights Continued Threat of Somali Piracy

New Report Highlights Continued Threat of Somali Piracy

In its first quarter report for 2024, the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has raised concern regarding continued acts of maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia.  A total of 33 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were recorded during the first three months of 2024, an increase from 27 incidents for the same period in 2023. Of the 33 incidents reported, 24 vessels were boarded, six had attempted attacks, two were hijacked and one was fired upon, data show. Violence toward crew continues, with 35 crew members taken hostage, nine kidnapped and one threatened.…
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Maritime Cyber News

Maritime Cyber News

April was a remarkably busy one for maritime cyber and physical security news. For this column, the focus will be on the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command’s annual Cyber Trends and Insights in the Marine Environment (CTIME) report. A high-level overview of this 60-page report is provided below with some recommendations for actions by shipping companies, seaports and other maritime stakeholders. Cyber Trends On April 22, the U.S. Coast Guard announced the release of the third annual CTIME report, available at https://bit.ly/4b19aVg. The report’s intention is to provide relevant information and lessons learned about cybersecurity risks to maritime security, while…
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From Crisis to Opportunity: Rethinking Water  Management in a Changing Climate

From Crisis to Opportunity: Rethinking Water Management in a Changing Climate

As climate change intensifies, I’ve noticed a notable increase in extreme weather events hampering critical shipping routes and waterways from the Rhine to the Mississippi. From prolonged droughts to unprecedented floods, these incidents are no longer a rare occurrence, but part of a longer-term and more severe pattern that will undoubtedly impact the maritime industry in the coming decades. While World Water Day and Earth Day spurred awareness in recent weeks, the conversation must extend beyond these singular moments and confront the economic, social, and environmental ripple effects of these climate-driven disruptions. In truth, there is an urgent need to…
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Ship-to-Shore Cranes: A Target for Foreign Adversaries

Ship-to-Shore Cranes: A Target for Foreign Adversaries

Setting the Stage The frenzied buzzing of the seaport manager’s cell phone interrupted his weekly staff meeting. There were urgent text messages and voice mails signaling that there was a major problem at Container Terminal 5. One text message said, “Crane 5A has stopped functioning! Crane 5C can’t be stopped! Help!” Apparently when one of the world’s largest container ships containing over 20,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) docked at Terminal 5, all hell broke loose. But why? Even though this is a hypothetical story, the U.S. Government and FBI are worried that such a scenario could come true. On Feb.…
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IMO Opening Regional Office in Fiji to Serve the Pacific

IMO Opening Regional Office in Fiji to Serve the Pacific

The International Maritime Organization is opening a Regional Presence Office in Suva, Fiji to serve countries and territories in the Pacific Islands region. IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez and Fiji’s Minister for Public Works, Meteorological Services and Transport of the Republic of Fiji, Ro Filipe Tuisawau, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at IMO Headquarters in London on March 18 to seal the arrangement. “The Regional Presence Office will support the maritime needs and priorities of countries in the Pacific Islands region,” the International Maritime Organization explained in a statement, “aligning IMO actions with national and regional development policies, while providing advice…
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IMO Names New Secretary-General, Senior Management Team

IMO Names New Secretary-General, Senior Management Team

A new secretary-general has been installed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and has announced the members of his leadership team. Arsenio Dominguez became the 10th elected Secretary-General of IMO on Jan. 1. Dominguez, who’s from Panama, succeeded Kitack Lim of South Korea, who was IMO Secretary-General from 2016-2023. Dominguez was confirmed by the IMO Assembly 33rd session, which met in November-December 2023. His initial term is four years, ending Dec. 31, 2027. Dominguez had been director of the IMO’s Marine Environment Division, a post he’d held since January 2022. He joined the IMO Secretariat in 2017 as Chief of…
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New Report Reveals Concerning Rise in Maritime Piracy Incidents

New Report Reveals Concerning Rise in Maritime Piracy Incidents

The annual Piracy and Armed Robbery Report of the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) released in mid-January has raised concern over the first successful Somali based hijacking since 2017. The IMB’s annual report recorded 120 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery against ships in 2023 compared to 115 in 2022. According to the report, 105 vessels were boarded, nine attempted attacks, four vessels hijacked and two fired upon. Since the number of 2023 reported incidents has slightly increased compared to 2022, the IMB has urged caution for crew safety as the number of crew taken hostage and kidnapped increased…
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Maritime Security: 2023’s Attacks, Pitfalls and Impacts

Maritime Security: 2023’s Attacks, Pitfalls and Impacts

The maritime industry continues to be a target for cyberattacks. In 2023, the industry witnessed increased cyberattacks, with ransomware and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks being the most predominant. We hope to raise awareness about these threats, focusing on the incidents that occurred in 2023, while providing some insights into effective defense strategies. Of note, a useful resource to view a record of global maritime cyberattacks is in the NHL Stenden, University of Applied Sciences Maritime Cyberattack Database at http://tinyurl.com/dejyercr. It’s a free resource that was referred to when preparing this article. Cyberattacks: Financial and Business Consequences An October…
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Printing Spare Parts

Printing Spare Parts

Could 3D printing spare parts soon become commonplace in the maritime shipping industry? There’s a very interesting story recently published by Forbes magazine that indicates that it might be. According to the article, marine industry supply chain and distribution company Thyssenkrupp Materials Services has “invested substantially” in 3D printing technology and has been using it to manufacture critical spare parts faster and cheaper than traditional manufacturing. The company has even dropped 3D-printed parts onto a vessel from a drone, the article states. A huge leap forward when it comes to 3D printing for the maritime industry came in October, when…
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Cyber Threats to the Maritime Sector

Cyber Threats to the Maritime Sector

“Quishing” and a summary report. Cyber and physical security concerns are still actively in play in the maritime industry. Ships, seaports and supporting organizations are all exposed to cyber-attacks and threats to their physical security. In this column, we examine a new cyber phenomena, followed by a seminal report sponsored by market data firm Thetius, risk management company CyberOwl and international law firm HFW. Phishing and “Quishing” Due to its increasing digitization and connectivity, the maritime sector has become more vulnerable to cyber threats, including phishing and the newly emerging threat of “quishing.”  Phishing is a common method used by…
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