Risk from cyberattacks on autonomous ships
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The vulnerability of technological and administrative systems to cyberattacks has been shown to be high in several cases, which has led to different unwanted consequences. Autonomous ships will also be exposed to the threat of cyberattacks, due to their need for connecting to operational, management and administrative systems onshore. The most critical hazards are possibly not associated with consequences for the ship itself or its cargo, but the threat to infrastructure along the coast and offshore if a ship under alien command is used as a “battering ram” to cause major structural damage. Even relatively small autonomous ships may pose a real threat, and ships sailing in international waters may come from distant locations. This implies that all autono-mous ships may be considered as possible threats. This paper outlines the risk for some infrastructure systems. Even though the probability may be low, such events cannot be ruled out in the future, and the design of au-tonomous ships must involve a series of risk reducing actions and designs.