MARAD Flags Concerns Over China-Backed Maritime Software
The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has recently issued a maritime security advisory, pointing out the increasing technological, physical, and cyber threats emanating from China in the maritime and logistics sectors.
Central to these concerns is LOGINK, a state-supported logistics management platform, which, MARAD warns, has the potential to jeopardize the integrity of the global maritime infrastructure.
MARAD's advisory comes on the heels of last month's report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Commission (USCC). The USCC had earlier alerted Congress about the strategic repercussions of giving potential adversaries such as China a panoramic view of global shipping lanes and trade via LOGINK.
The impending launch of a more advanced LOGINK version, which promises a cloud-based enterprise software suite, is expected to offer carriers and logistics entities sophisticated data analytics tools.
This would effectively enable LOGINK to have an unparalleled depth of understanding of global commercial data, potentially giving the Chinese government a distinct vantage point on international commerce and trade ties.
Central to the concerns expressed by the advisory is the National Public Information Platform for Transportation and Logistics (LOGINK) supported by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Beyond its role as a digital conduit, LOGINK is a holistic logistics management system, amassing a wealth of logistical data. The spectrum of this data encompasses intel from both domestic and overseas ports, international logistics chains, and a plethora of users within China, supplemented by various public data sources.
Further exacerbating the apprehensions is the inclusion of software and hardware entities such as Nuctech, a PRC State-Owned Enterprise acclaimed for its data-driven security inspection tools.
Though its product spectrum extends from x-ray devices to cutting-edge facial recognition tech, Nuctech's affiliations with the Communist Party of China and the People’s Liberation Army have sparked serious security concerns. This led to Nuctech's addition to the Department of Commerce’s Entity List, underpinning national security threats.
To equip maritime entities with a proactive defense, MARAD has offered an exhaustive set of information resources and preliminary guidelines. These span a gamut of recommendations, from grasping data-sharing mechanisms to enhancing infrastructure resilience and exploring alternative software solutions.