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Regulating Cyber Security of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship: New Challenges and Improvements

Junghwan Choi & Jiancuo Qi

JEAIL Volume 16, Number 2 (2023), 233-250


The development of autonomous ships relies heavily on the Internet technologies, which have introduced a new type of risk to the shipping industry. Increasing dependence on the Internet computing and satellite communications makes cybersecurity a significant consideration for the current operation and future development of autonomy technology in the shipping industry. Cyber risks will be a more critical issue for maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS). This research identifies current international regulatory issues concerning cybersecurity in MASS, and examines potential regulatory improvements for the effective prevention and control of potential cyber risks. In terms of improvements, the authors suggest the adoption of a mandatory goal-based MASS code that constitutes an independent cyber risk management, separate from existing safety management systems based on the International Safety Management code. In addition, the SUA Convention for the suppression of unlawful acts against shipping must be revised to actively respond to cyber-crime as an emerging threat in the era of MASS.

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