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02
Feb

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Someone is Trying to Hack You Right Now: Ports, Terminals and Cyber-Security.

Someone is Trying to Hack You Right Now: Ports, Terminals and Cyber-Security.

Mission-Impossible

As I stated in my last post, cyber-security in ports is ultra-important and we basically don’t have any. Apparently this was unclear, because I had some inquiries. O.k., here’s the deal:

When it comes to cyber-security, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that ISIS is starting to lose the war on the ground pretty badly, pinning down by coalition airstrikes, losing territory and getting beaten up by a bunch of girls. I’m not making this up.

The bad news is that ISIS and other terror groups have taken the war on terror digital, calling themselves the Cyber Caliphate. Still not making this up. ISIS has been undeniably successful using social media for recruiting and promotion, so they thought they’d have a go at digitally attacking the U.S. military, NASA, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and just about every other American government department and they have vowed to do so.

The good news is that ISIS isn’t much better at waging digital war than they are at waging real war. Hack Alert News recently stated on Twitter that ISIS “couldn’t hack their way into a cardboard box with an axe.” It seems this assessment is accurate, as ISIS is trying to outsource their cyber-attacks to India, offering good money for Indian technical support in the digital war on terror. Truly, honestly, still not making this up.

O.k., so ISIS aren’t the super-geeks they claim to be.

It’s hard to learn a new skill when you’re busy being crazy, I guess.

The bad news is that sooner or later the ISIS guys are going to do a coding night course or someone who knows a computer from a Cuisinart is going to follow their example and we’re woefully unprepared to deal with the fallout. With increasing port automation and very thin cyber-security, we in the port world are setting ourselves up for inevitable catastrophic failure.

We’ve got to get on this people. Fortunately some companies and ports already have made steps to enhance port and terminal security. In my next post, I’ll talk about how they’re doing it.

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