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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
This paper provides a close investigation into the landscape of both cyber threats and actual incidents in the maritime sector, identifying the cyber trends and challenges as they relate to safe navigation and marine shipping. As an important subset of cyber threats that impact many maritime systems, the vulnerabilities of satellite navigation systems, in particular the Global Positioning System (GPS), receive special attention. For this article, a systematic literature review was conducted, complemented by the research and analysis of a specific spoofing event. Analyzing available resources, we might summarize that a shift in mind-set is essential to direct more attention and resources toward cybersecurity as well as the necessity for manufacturers to improve the cybersecurity of their products, as shipping systems currently remain vulnerable to cybercriminals. There is a need for multiple positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) systems onboard maritime vessels to complement GPS-only navigation. The use of multiple satellite navigation constellations, public as well as private, in combination with the terrestrial components of an enhanced LOng-RAnge Navigation (eLoran) system and ports’ laser-based aid system for berthing and docking should provide the shipping industry with the direly needed increased protection from cyberattackers for the foreseeable future.