What happens if a hacker tries to attack your ship’s onboard system?

Associations, BIMCO, Conferences, Seminars, Forums, IT and Communications — By on August 11, 2015 at 11:40 PM
Angus Frew

Angus Frew

BIMCO, the world’s largest shipping association, will focus on cyber security and how to handle a maritime casualty crisis at its next annual conference in Hamburg on November 18 2015

Angus Frew, Secretary General of BIMCO, said:

“Hamburg is one of the shipping capitals of the world and home to many BIMCO members – which is why we have chosen it for our annual conference this year.

“We will run two very interactive and engaging sessions on cyber security and on managing a crisis in the aftermath of a maritime casualty – using the latest technology and involving leading experts in each field.

“The goal is for the sessions to be extremely useful for those working directly with these challenges – but also very engaging for all shipping professionals.

“We want to draw industry people together for the event to create an excellent opportunity to network and do business.”

A key session at BIMCO’s conference is titled “Cyber Attack”. Although the industry has yet to witness a cyber attack on a ship, being unprepared could expose shipowners and their ships to commercial, safety and environmental risks. Participants will:

  • see a live demonstration of known weaknesses in ship’s systems and how they could potentially be exploited by a hacker during an attack
  • hear an expert assessment of current cyber security levels onboard ships
  • find out more about cyber attacks and countermeasures

Aron Sørensen, head of BIMCO’s marine department, said:

“Two years ago, cyber security was just not on the radar for the shipping industry. Since then, we have seen global corporate brands – including Sony – hit the headlines when they fell victim to cyber attacks.

“BIMCO is taking the lead in developing industry best management practice for cyber security onboard ships and we aim to share the latest developments during the session.”

Another main session at BIMCO’s conference is titled “From Crisis to Clean-Up” and starts with the moment that a bulk carrier, the Idle Star,  runs aground in a US river, rupturing its bunker tank and spilling fuel oil into the fast flowing river. The session will explore:

  • how salvage experts and pollution clean-up specialists deal with such an event, and
  • how owners and charterers should work together to manage the press as public criticism mounts over the pollution.

Participants will see the drama unfold, vote on the action they would take and can ask questions of the expert speakers (see notes to editors).

Other speakers during the conference include BIMCO President Philippe Louis-Dreyfus, VDR President Alfred Hartmann and BIMCO’s shipping economist Peter Sand.

The BIMCO Awards Dinner will take place after the conference – the winners of the 5 BIMCO award categories will be announced and celebrated.

Find out more online at hamburg2015.bimco.org.


  • BIMCO is the world’s largest international shipping association, with around 2, 200 members in over 130 countries.
  • Our members represent over half of the world’s commercial fleet.
  • We provide a wide range of services to our global membership – which includes shipowners, operators, managers, brokers and agents.
  • BIMCO’s core objective is to facilitate the commercial operations of our members by developing standard contracts and clauses, and providing quality information, advice and education.
  • BIMCO promotes fair business practices, free trade and open access to markets and we are a strong advocate for the harmonisation and standardisation of all shipping related activity.

BIMCO actively promotes the application of globally agreed regulatory instruments – we are accredited as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) with all relevant United Nations agencies and other regulatory entities.


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