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Marine cyber-attack will cost our cities

Professor Kevin Jones, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Plymouth University, contributed to our Healthy Cities Forum discussions on 9th October at Siemens' Crystal Building, London, by explaining the danger to our urban environments through marine cyber attack.

‘Hundreds of millions of dollars could be lost by just one port closing for a day from a cyber-attack and there is likely to be a significant event in the near future', he warned.

'People often overlook ocean transport but all vessels are connected in some way through the internet. We have seen the wide-spread effect on the NHS of the recent cyber-attack and the marine industry could be similarly affected. Most major cities such as London or Rotterdam are dependent on a river or port, and if such an attack occurs, it could result in a serious financial loss as well as major logistical probelms’.

Ships are weak targets for terror crimes, says Professor Jones. If an oil tanker or passenger ferry hits the infrastructure of a port through cyber-attack on a computer system, the effect could be felt across the world as cargo and other vessels are held up in the logistics chain. Being prepared for such crimes is essential as the odds of attacks increase, he cautions..

Find out more about Plymouth University's new cyber centre at

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