(U//FOUO) FBI Awareness Message: Threats to Maritime Transportation

Critical Infrastructure: Threats to Maritime Transportation

  • 1 page
  • For Official Use Only
  • May 2011


(U//FOUO) Maritime transportation infrastructure—to include watercraft, seaports, harbors, and waterways—is vital to the United States’ economy and national security. Maritime shipping accounts for ninety-nine percent of all US overseas trade. Additionally, passenger ships transport more than 140 million people to and from US ports each year. Countless vacationers enjoy maritime recreation on US lakes and beaches. All of these activities depend upon safe and open waterways, which the FBI defends from a variety of criminal and national security threats. A top concern is that past attacks on foreign passenger ferries and cargo liners could inspire similar action against US commercial vessels. Additional threats to maritime security include: contraband smuggling, human trafficking, piracy and crimes at sea, and cyber attacks against maritime information systems.

(U//FOUO) When responding to a threat or incident involving maritime transportation, or in the course of official activities, and to the extent permitted by law, agencies are encouraged to coordinate with and forward to the FBI information on entities committing criminal or suspicious acts which may indicate a potential threat to US interests and warrant further investigation.

(U//FOUO) Who is plotting attacks or crimes against US maritime transportation infrastructure?

  • (U//FOUO) Report indications terrorists or organized crime groups are seeking employment with, or other forms of special access to, maritime transportation infrastructure.

(U//FOUO) When and where will the planned attack or crime occur?

(U//FOUO) What are the details of planned attacks against US maritime transportation infrastructure?

  • (U//FOUO) Report indications of maritime-attack planning (e.g., threats, surveillance, theft of navigation equipment, suspicious boat traffic near high-value targets, smuggling of hazardous materials).
  • (U//FOUO) What weapons, tactics, or vehicles do the attackers plan to use?

(U//FOUO) How is maritime transportation exploited to conduct other illegal activities?

  • (U//FOUO) What methods are used to smuggle people or illicit items through US maritime borders?

(U//FOUO) What methods are used to conduct cyber attacks or intrusions against maritime transportation infrastructure?

  • (U//FOUO) Report indications of cyber attack planning against navigation services or other maritime information systems (e.g., threats, computer intrusions, suspicious network activity).
  • (U//FOUO) What security vulnerabilities are exploited in maritime cyber attacks or intrusions?

Share this: