USCG: Don’t Click On Links That May Appear Suscpicious!

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  • USCG issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin to highlight that email correspondence from the Coast Guard.
  • The Coast Guard strongly encourages vessel operators to provide regular phishing and cybersecurity awareness
    training.

The US Coast Guard, in conjunction with the maritime community and the UK Department for Transportation, has been made aware of several phishing attempts by nefarious actors impersonating Coast Guard port state control (PSC) authorities, reports Safety4sea.

These incidents range from unsophisticated attempts asking for vessels to urgently contact PSC
teams at a malicious hyperlink, to more sophisticated and targeted “spear phishing” attempts, which include details such as the ship name and IMO number to appear legitimate.

Be cautious of suspicious links 

In that regard, USCG issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin to highlight that email correspondence from the Coast Guard will always be from the “uscg.mil” domain, will NOT include links requesting information, and will typically copy the vessel’s agent in the port of destination.

Emails claiming to be from the Coast Guard or PSC teams that do not state the specific purpose of the correspondence and/or are not from the uscg.mil domain should be regarded with suspicion. If you have received correspondence that is suspicious or has left you unsure of its legitimacy, please contact your agent or call the Coast Guard Sector Command Center at your port of destination”, USCG further explained.

Additionally, the Coast Guard encourages vessel operators to keep the following in mind regarding correspondence that may be phishing attempts:

  • Do not click on any links or attachments that may appear suspicious.
  • Take time to evaluate a suspicious email or correspondence, as victims of phishing tend to be those who
    go through emails quickly.
  • The Coast Guard will not request personal information via email.

The Coast Guard strongly encourages vessel operators to provide regular phishing and cybersecurity awareness
training to all employees to identify and report suspicious correspondences. Additionally, the Coast Guard encourages all international partners to pass on information relating to suspicious behavior observed in the Marine Transportation System to their respective regulatory organizations.

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Source: Safety4sea