Cookies help us deliver the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies Dismiss

IEC Telecom welcomes new Iridium GMDSS service

Image Courtesy of IEC Telecom Image Courtesy of IEC Telecom

Maritime safety has been boosted following the recognition of Iridium’s satellite service as a provider for the international Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) –  giving ship operators more options when protecting vessels and crew, said IEC Telecom.


{mprestriction ids="1,2"} The recent approval from IMO and SOLAS means there are now two certified providers of GMDSS satellite services, thereby ending Inmarsat’s previous 20-year monopoly of this sector and giving greater choice for vessel operators.

Welcoming the move, Alf Stian Mauritz, managing director of IEC Telecom Norway, said: “Iridium GMDSS now provides a real alternative to Inm-C, offering satellite-based maritime distress services with truly global coverage. This is an excellent development for the whole maritime industry because it gives vessel operators the opportunity to install a greater selection of equipment to meet their exact requirements.”

IEC Telecom will be showcasing a range of maritime safety systems and equipment during the Sjøen for Alle event in Lillestrøm, Norway, from March 18-22 – the premier gathering which marks the start of the ‘boat season’ in Scandinavia.

In particular, IEC Telecom’s stand D03-18 will feature the Lars Thrane LT-3100S GMDSS System which provides 100 percent global GMDSS coverage (sea areas A1 to A4), a distress alert & safety voice system, maritime safety information (MSI) and ship security alert system (SSAS). In addition the LT-3100S supports bridge alert management and external alarm panels and offers long range identification and tracking (IRIT), voice, SMS, SBD, and modem data – all via a single antenna cable solution with high-performance GNSS/GPS receiver.

GMDSS is an internationally agreed-upon set of safety procedures, types of equipment, and communication protocols used to increase safety and make it easier to rescue distressed ships, boats and aircraft. Recreational vessels and workboats do not need to comply with GMDSS radio carriage requirements, but increasingly use the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Marine VHF radios. 

IEC Telecom is especially looking forward to introducing its ‘Safety at Sea’ range, which includes products from ACR, Ocean Signal, Scanstrut, Shakespeare, Pepwave and Fire Suppression Systems. Supported by IEC Telecom’s global satellite communications solutions, vessel and personal safety is enhanced by reliable connectivity and coverage while costs are kept low thanks to a selection of flexible tariffs and hardware to fit all budgets. 

Mr Mauritz said: “Whether you are at sea for leisure or work it is important to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your voyage is supported by the best and safest technology. We are looking forward to introducing Scandinavian boat owners and vessel operators to the latest cutting-edge equipment on the market during this popular show.” {/mprestriction}

Related items

  • Hughes to invest $50m into new OneWeb consortium

    Broadband satellite networks and services provider Hughes Network Systems (HUGHES) has announced its participation in the winning consortium, led by the U.K. Government and Bharti Enterprises, that will acquire OneWeb out of bankruptcy. Hughes has agreed in principle to invest $50 million in the consortium.

  • exactEarth announces $7.0M expansion of channel partner agreement

    exactEarth, provider of satellite-AIS data services, has expanded an alliance agreement (the “Amended Agreement”) with one of its existing channel partners (the Partner).

  • Pandemic reveals a need for new connectivity solutions

    Connectivity at sea has never been more important than during these difficult times. New regulations can be introduced at any moment and it is of great importance to ensure that this information is communicated to all marine sectors.

  • We hacked a ship. The owner is liable.

    Author: Ewan Robinson, director of maritime communications and solutions provider Yangosat. 

    We hacked a ship. The Owner is Liable.

    Well, we hacked the communications system of the ship. Technically we have been doing this for a few years.

    This time we did it like a “bad guy” would.

    We got into the vessel, belonging to a multinational company, and found out everything possible about the system, the setup, the manufacturers information.

    This is a very specialised vessel that was alongside in the capitol city of a major European country, carrying out cargo discharge.

    We could have broken the system so badly, the vessel would have been back to Sat-C and flag signals.

    Any information going through that satcomm would have been able to be collected, checked and used.

    As we are Ethical Hackers, we are obliged to act in certain ways. One of them is that we have to tell everyone involved if we did something during testing.

    We did. Well, we tried to.

    The Owners operators, when we finally managed to get someone in the overworked operations department to listen, didn’t care and ignored us.

    The manufacturers didn’t even bother to respond.

    All of the test was documented, peer reviewed and otherwise substantiated by trusted persons.

    The lawyers are going to have a field day and be very happy.

    Ship owners are not.

    Owners and operators are being badly supported and advised by these super providers, who use third party engineers, or poorly trained engineers, and leave systems in an exposed state. Equipment manufacturers and developers are so guilty of poor techniques and security that using “industry best practice” is a total contradiction.

    Lawyers, P&I and Class are going to be so busy refusing claims in the event of a cyber incident, that the poor owners are not going to know where to turn.

    Owners are forced into accepting sub-standard equipment. This equipment cannot be made secure in its current format, and yet the manufacturers and developers, fail to update and secure them.

    The providers supply this equipment, along with the bandwidth and engineers who install them, and then incorrectly configure and allow public access to them. The Owner is still liable.

    So how were they failed?

    We have been presenting at various conferences over the last few years, highlighting how exposed we are as an industry to ‘hackers’ and bad actors.

    It normally consisted of a prepared victim vessel, using a system that had been poorly configured by the provider, or the providers appointed/trained engineer, and accessing the equipment onboard, normally the antenna or satcomm system. It’s a quick way to display to an audience just how much we are ‘displaying publicly’.

    recently someone asked “what could someone actually do?”

    A relevant question we thought, so we tested to see what we could actually do.

    As a basic attack, an intruder could lock out all the users from accessing the equipment. They could turn off the satcom, or prevent systems and users onboard gaining access to the internet or to systems onshore or stop onshore reaching the vessel.

    OK, so this is annoying and disruptive, costing from a few hundreds to several tens or hundreds  of thousands if the charterer deems “off hire” status due to lack of communications.

    Well, that’s quite expensive, potentially.

    But what can we learn from the systems we can get at?

    A lot.

    Given the amount of systems that are exposed to the internet, with poor configuration, it is relatively easy to find a ‘victim’, and to maximise the information gained by using the tools available and exposed by the simplest of mistakes.

    Default admin passwords.

    There is a need for it, but no excuse for it.

     Service Providers, who manage several thousands of vessels, still use engineers who leave default admin usernames and passwords.

     So, it’s a fault on one vessel, but it cant really hurt can it?

    It can. And it does.

     Our target vessel was found.

    That took 7 minutes to locate.

    It belonged to a very large multinational corporation. The default username and password was still in effect on the VSAT system.

    Access was made to the administration area, so all usernames and passwords could be changed. Also available was access to the system by FTP. Even if this had not already been enabled, as we were in the Admin area, we could have enabled it.

     This is where major security flaw #1 was found. The FTP access gave access to the entire operating system of the device, not just the FTP area.

    Major security flaw #2 was putting a text file in every folder with a map of the entire structure of the operating system.

    This allowed for finding and copying the ‘hidden’ password file to our local machine. It was actually encrypted.

     2 hours later, it wasn’t.

    So now we had all the manufacturers usernames and passwords.

     Now we can access the publicly available machines where they have changed the default admin username and password, by using the manufacturers. They have these so the engineers can always get in. Great for business and support, not so for security.

     The network connections listed in the antenna setup were then investigated.

     The VSAT Modem was accessed, again using default connections on SSH, with publicly available usernames and passwords.

    Command line access to the modem was achieved, allowing us to take control and alter the configuration. In effect we could now control the communications in 2 different places.

     Such systemic failures, at the developmental and operational level, are going to have huge issues when Cyber 2021 comes into force next year.

    Class and P&I will be left wondering who to refuse claims and who to sue for negligence when there are events, while the operators are trusting the providers to implement correctly, and the manufacturers and developers are failing at such basic levels, they will likely be left with the legal responsibility in the first instance.

    The lesson of life in todays marine communications environment?

    Don’t trust what’s being given to you.

    Unless you have had your own trusted IT check what’s gone before, why would you blindly trust a stranger with your vessels now?

    The Owner is Liable.

    Yangosat is a maritime communications and solutions provider, helping shipowners and providers realise new systems and invigorate existing ones. This article has been reproduced with the author's permission. 

     

  • OneWeb announces plans to expand LEO satellites

    OneWeb has submitted a modification request to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase the number of satellites in its constellation up to 48,000 satellites.

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

Login/Register

Register or Login to view even more of our content. Basic registration is free.

Register now

Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.

 

Address:
Digital Ship Ltd
Digital Ship - Digital Energy Journal
39-41 North Road
London
N7 9DP
United Kingdom

Copyright © 2019 Digital Ship Ltd. All rights reserved           Cookie Policy         Privacy Policy