Encrypt Naval Communications with Merchant Shipsidance, recommended routing, and threat assessments when they send an initial report to the UK Maritime Trade Operations office in Dubai.
However, wireless systems to communicate such unclassified sensitive information to merchant ships do not always provide protection against unauthorized disclosure. Naval authorities should be aware of this risk: Information that reaches pirates and terrorists may lead to attacks on merchant ships. Therefore, communication methods between naval authorities and merchant ships must be improved to enhance—not further endanger—merchant-vessel safety.
Inmarsat C Is Not Secure
Several Internet sites offer decoding software for the digital satellite communication system Inmarsat C, with the ability to fully reconstruct all Inmarsat C messages sent to ships by a land earth station (LES). This is disturbing, as Inmarsat C, launched in 1991 to provide low-cost data communication and Global Maritime Distress and Safety System services, comprises an estimated 125,000 maritime terminals.