Satellite communications jamming could spell trouble for maritime industry

August 5, 2021

Connected mobility may bring to mind passenger pods and delivery drones, which may be the most visible in the march forward to Smart Mobility and Transport. However, conversations about connected mobility often leave out a massive industry segment – one that is perhaps most key to how the world runs today.

The maritime and shipping industries now largely depend on satellite communications for efficient and safe navigation. In some cases, this dependence is complete, as many countries around the world have shut off the radio transmitters that sent out pulsed signals for navigation. Of course, satellite technology is nothing new – in maritime settings alone it has been used since 1979 – and has been shown to be fairly reliable. However, without a consistent backup plan, relying completely on satellite communications runs the risk of maritime disasters in the case of something as innocuous as a solar flare or as harmful as deliberate jamming or spoofing cyberattacks.

Jamming involves sending out so many signals that a receiver becomes overwhelmed, unable to distinguish between relevant or irrelevant information. Spoofing, on the other hand, is when a cyberattacker provides false information, leading to faulty navigation and ships going off course. Both types of attacks can be very disruptive (for example, a shipping vessel that goes off course could cause massive supply chain issues) and also potentially dangerous.

The need to secure communications between satellites and ships, therefore, will is already paramount – especially as there is no real reliable, secure back-up plan for navigation other than mapping the stars. Though shipping supply chains and other naval activities are not often in public view, the Evergiven/Suez Canal incident earlier this year made it clear how one disruption could affect the rest of the world.

The maritime industry can no longer wait to find a secure method of communication – unless sailors would like to depend on their future by starlight.

Related Articles

Recap: ANGOKA at IAA Mobility 2021

Recap: ANGOKA at IAA Mobility 2021

ANGOKA recently attended IAA Mobility at the beginning of September. Read on to learn about our experience at one of the biggest automotive events of the year, by Jay Nagley (Head of Business Development, Land Mobility & Northern Ireland). We had a really good...

ANGOKA key partner of Future Mobility Park

ANGOKA key partner of Future Mobility Park

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve become a key partner of the Future Mobility Park, a cutting-edge test bed in Rotterdam. The park will offer testing and demonstration services for a variety of Smart and Future Mobility use cases, and will be crucial in furthering...

ANGOKA making a big splash at Digital DNA

ANGOKA making a big splash at Digital DNA

We are very excited to be an Industry Partner for Digital DNA, a flagship Belfast event. As ANGOKA is headquartered in Belfast, we are keen to highlight the capabilities and strengths of the Belfast cyber and technical scene. We will be hosting two panels, on the...

Translate »