Various tool possibilities
The research group would like to use the various developments in this testing environment in order to detect, investigate and prevent IT security incidents. A special simulator called the Bridge Attack Tool (BRAT) can perform various attacks and demonstrate their impact on on-board systems.
This enables researchers, for example, to point out vulnerabilities found in the software systems of industrial partners after evaluation.
In order to be able to repel cyberattacks on board as soon as possible, a system has been developed that is supposed to automatically detect anomalies, the so-called “intrusion detection system”.
In contrast, potential attacks are evaluated via Cyber Incident Monitoring (CIM). This gives instructions and recommendations for action to the crew.
“In stressful situations, it is important that warning messages and recommendations for ship personnel are clear and easy to implement,” says Florian Motz, Head of the Regulatory Ergonomics Research Group at Fraunhofer FKIE.
In CIM, for example, care has been taken to ensure that acoustic warning signals are triggered only when urgent action is required. Warning messages and warnings are also related to information and decision-making tools – for example, you no longer trust GPS at this time.
According to FKIE, the concept of alert and warning messages has been adapted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Guidelines for Bridge Alarm Management.
detection and prevention
The work on CIM and parts of further developments for BRAT was carried out in collaboration with BM Bergmann Marine as part of the research project SINAV (Study on the integration and processing of sensory information, navigation, communication and automation for partial and full autonomous ship operation to ensure safer navigation) of the Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport.
The aim is to use the research lab to educate companies, authorities and navigation experts about the dangers of cyberattacks at sea and to develop measures with industrial partners. Not only could the researchers test and update existing systems, but they could also provide study data for the development of new solutions.
According to Bauer, the best protection against harm is consistent prevention combined with effective methods of detecting potential cyberattacks.
We should not be fooled into thinking that cyber attacks on ships are not widely known yet. And the systems urgently need to be upgraded, especially on older cargo planes that have been in service for decades,” he stresses.
Objective: To use the research findings to successfully prevent attacks and contribute to the information technology and cyber security of global supply chains – which in turn are of fundamental importance to geopolitical security.
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