Cargo Ship Global System
Merchant shipping is the backbone of the globalized world economy. One of its main organizing elements is a messaging system driven by an industry consortium called Shipping Message Development Group (SMDG). Ultimately, this is used to organize how the various containers get from the sender to the recipient.
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In the system, virtually every single free space on the numerous merchant ships is reported and booked with standardized messages. So if you want to send a freight container to another continent, you can not only book a suitable route here, but also the right stand will be organized so that the freight is distributed well on the ships – otherwise there can be massive problems, especially in difficult weather conditions – to the capsizing of the vessels.
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The investigations of the security researchers have also already indicated that there were multiple manipulations. However, these do not seem to be based on fake booking messages.Rather, attackers were active directly at official terminals and ensured, for example, that containers routes over certain – sometimes less well-guarded harbors – took time to pick up. For example, smuggled charges such as drugs before arriving at the actual destination.