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Thread: Pirates! Activity Around the world

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Ok... weird.


    18 October 2013 Last updated at 09:58 ET

    MV Seaman Guard Ohio: India police arrest crew of US ship



    Indian officials say the ship is owned by a private US-based security firm and registered in Sierra Leone



    Police in India say they have arrested the crew of a US-owned ship accused of illegally entering Indian waters with a huge cache of weapons on board.


    Officials say MV Seaman Guard Ohio was detained on 12 October by the Indian Coast Guard and is currently anchored at a port in southern Tamil Nadu state.


    Its 35-member crew include Indians, Britons, Ukrainians and Estonians.


    The ship's owner, AdvanFort, said the vessel was involved in supporting anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean.


    But there have been differing accounts of the chain of events from the Indian authorities and the US-based security firm.


    Piracy threat

    The Indian authorities say they intercepted the American ship last weekend when it was reportedly sailing off the coast of Tamil Nadu.


    Police also said they found weapons and ammunition on board, which had not been properly declared. Officials say the vessel was not authorised to carry arms in Indian waters and that it never produced the necessary paperwork.


    But in a statement released on Monday, AdvanFort said India's coast guard and police allowed the vessel to enter the port to refuel and shelter from a cyclone which hit India's eastern coast last weekend. The company even thanked officials.


    It added that all weaponry and equipment on board was properly registered.


    In recent years piracy has emerged as a major threat to merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea, with ships and their crews sometimes hijacked for ransom.
    There have been fewer attacks recently, partly because more armed guards are now deployed on board.


    On Friday, police said that 33 crew members had been taken to a local police station for questioning. Two had been allowed to remain on the vessel in port at Tuticorin.


    Six of the crew members are Britons and the British high commission in Delhi said consular officials had been in touch with them by email and with the local authorities, but they were still trying to clarify exactly what had happened and on what grounds they had been detained.


    The US embassy told the BBC it had "no comment" to make.


    Protection
    According to AdvanFort there were privately contracted security personnel on board the Sierra-Leone registered MV Seaman Guard Ohio.


    It said that as these men routinely provide counter-piracy protection they also had uniforms, protective equipment, medical kits, rifles and ammunition - "all of which is properly registered and licensed to AdvanFort".


    The company added that the vessel "provides an accommodations platform for AdvanFort's counter-piracy guards between transits on client commercial vessels transiting the high risk area".


    Analysts say that anti-piracy measures on high-risk shipping routes are poorly regulated and India is increasingly sensitive to violations of its maritime boundaries.


    India directly supports the multi-national campaign to combat the mostly Somali pirates targeting ships in the Indian Ocean with its own navy.


    But it's been controversial too, with the Indian authorities prosecuting two Italian marines on anti-piracy duty for allegedly shooting two fishermen inside Indian waters last year.


    They were guarding an Italian oil tanker and said they mistook the fishermen for pirates.

    ==============



    Analysis Andrew North South Asia correspondent



    Yet again the private security industry is in the frame, with India saying the British and other contractors it has arrested were not authorised to have arms and ammunition in its waters.


    The ship's owner, AdvanFort, is one of a growing number of Western security companies involved in protecting shipping from pirates in the Indian Ocean.


    India supports those efforts with its own navy. But it has drawn a line with the crew of the MV Seaman Guard Ohio, accusing them of "illegal activity" for failing to provide sufficient paperwork for the weapons on board.


    We're still waiting for the company's side of the story.


    The Indian government was criticised last year for its handling of the case of the two Italian marines on anti-piracy duty who were accused of shooting two Indian fishermen.

    With elections approaching it will want to be seen to be taking a firm line in this latest case, to avoid giving any new ammunition to its opponents.

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Cruisers rely on this to tell them where the big boats are.

    Not good.

    Leaky security could scuttle global ship-tracking system

    Nuke-carrying Iranian ghost ships could be on the USA's radar right now

    By Phil Muncaster, 17th October 2013


    Security researchers have found a major flaw in the Automatic Identification System (AIS), a mandatory tracking system for ships, which could leave the 400,000 vessels currently using it globally wide open to terrorists or pirates.


    Trend Micro’s Kyle Wilhoit and Marco Balduzzi and independent researcher Alessandro Pasta presented their findings at the HITB security conference in Kuala Lumpur this week.





    They claimed that AIS has been designed “with seemingly zero security considerations”, potentially allowing hackers to create fake vessels, disable tracking or create false SOS or collision alerts.


    Given that the system is mandatory for all commercial ships over 300 metric tons and all passenger ships regardless of weight, the security flaws highlighted in the research are nasty.


    AIS works by grabbing GPS data on a ship’s position, course and other info and exchanging it with nearby ships and AIS base stations along the coastline.
    However, in a blog post, Wilhoit and Balduzzi explained that they’d found vulnerabilities not only in the AIS protocol but also within service providers such as Marine Traffic which use AIS info on their public-facing sites.
    They claimed some of the main providers have vulnerabilities which would allow a hacker to “tamper with valid AIS data and inject invalid AIS data”, leading to a variety of possible outcomes.


    These include changing vital ship details such as position, course, speed, cargo or unique MMSI (Mobile Maritime Service Identity).
    It could also allow the creation of fake vessels – they gave the example of an Iranian ship filled with nuclear cargo turning up off the US coast.
    Hackers could force shipwrecks by “creating and modifying Aid to Navigations (AToN) entries, such as buoys and lighthouses”, and even spoof the take-off and flight of search and rescue aircraft.


    Wilhoit and Balduzzi also found flaws in the AIS protocol used in hardware transceivers installed in all vessels using the system.
    This could lead to the following scenarios, they claimed:
    Impersonate marine authorities to permanently disable the AIS system on a vessel, both forcing the ship to stop communicating its position, and stop getting AIS notifications from all nearby vessels (essentially a denial of service attack). This can also be tagged to a geographical area e.g. as soon as ship enters Somalia sea space it vanishes of AIS, but the pirates who carried out the attack can still see it.


    Fake a “man-in-the-water” distress beacon at any location that will also trigger alarms on all vessel within approximately 50 km.


    Fake a CPA alert (Closest Point of Approach) and trigger a collision warning alert. In some cases this can even cause software on the vessel to recalculate a course to avoid collision, allowing an attacker to physically nudge a boat in a certain direction.


    Send false weather information to a vessel, e.g. approaching storms to route around.


    Cause all ships to send AIS traffic much more frequently than normal, resulting in a flooding attack on all vessels and marine authorities in range.
    The problem, the duo claimed, is that AIS was “designed in a world before the Internet or software-defined radio”.


    This means it lacks basic security measures such as geographical validity checks to ensure the accuracy of AIS messages; time-stamping of messages; authentication of message senders; and encryption to prevent message interception/modification.


    Trend Micro said it will be releasing a white paper around the findings in due course and has already disclosed its research to all major AIS standards bodies and online AIS tracking info providers. ®

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    October 24, 2013, 10:52 AM Pirates nab 2 U.S. sailors from oil ship off Nigeria




    LONDON Two U.S. mariners have been taken hostage after an attack on a U.S. ship 40 miles off the Nigerian coast.


    The American captain and chief engineer of the oil platform supply ship C-Retriever were kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Nigeria on Wednesday, news agencies reported, citing anonymous U.S. defense officials.


    U.S. officials confirmed to CBS News correspondent David Martin that there were 13 people on board the vessel when it came under attack, and that two American citizens were taken hostage and being held at an unknown location. Their condition was unknown, and there were no immediate claims of responsibility.


    The State Department said it was "closely monitoring" the reports and was "seeking additional information about the incident." The U.S. considers the incident an act of piracy and not terrorism, reports CBS News State Department correspondent Margaret Brennan. The U.S. Embassy in Lagos and the FBI are involved in the investigation.
    The Gulf of Guinea is an area where oil bunkering occurs and ships anchor, Brennan reports. There is not a large naval protective presence where the kidnapping occurred, unlike off the coast of Somalia where shipping lanes are protected.


    Maritime industry website gCaptain first reported the incident, saying the "C-Retriever," owned by Louisiana-based marine transport company Edison Chouest, was attacked by pirates near the city of Brass, in the Niger Delta, on Wednesday. Brass sits at the mouth of one of the many rivers and streams that empty into the Gulf of Guinea, forming the Delta, which is home to a number of large international oil platforms and regular industry ship traffic.


    Edison Chouest did not immediately respond to a CBS News request for comment on the reports.


    An American man from Georgia was kidnapped from the Niger Delta city of Warri last year. He was freed after a week in captivity, possibly for a large ransom, though the circumstances were not confirmed. There were five reports of U.S. nationals being kidnapped in Nigeria in 2011.


    Nigeria's government earns billions of dollars a year from its resources in the oil-rich Delta, but is frequently accused of widespread corruption that keeps the vast majority of Nigerians from sharing in the wealth.


    The Delta region's inhabitants remain impoverished, and for years small groups of bandits have attacked oil industry vessels, but the attacks have increased in recent years and become more dangerous, according to one industry worker who left the region last year.


    George Ezard, a British contract engineer who spent eight years working in Nigeria, told CBSNews.com the attacks on ships and platforms were even creeping west from the Delta toward Lagos, Nigeria's sprawling economic capital.


    "Only one company would give us life insurance, but it wasn't valid in the Delta," recalled Ezard, who worked most recently in Lagos but was previously based in the Delta city of Port Harcourt.


    "Even in Lagos it (pirate attacks) was increasing," he said. "It was really getting to be bad. He said the threat in the early years was "from small-time opportunists, then suddenly it became armed gangs who killed people and demanded ransoms."


    In addition to the threat of piracy in the Delta region, Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north is facing an insurgency by Muslim separatists, led by the militant group Boko Haram, which has carried out numerous attacks against the Christian minority in the region.


    The Nigerian military has established a Joint Task Force to tackle the problem of piracy in the south, while carrying out a military offensive against Boko Haram in the north.

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    U.S.-flagged ship attacked; two crew members taken hostage

    Oct. 24, 2013 | 1:09 PM






    The C-Retriever oil platform supply vessel is pictured in this 2008 file photo at the Bonny River in Nigeria. On October 25, 2013 two crew members thought to be U.S. citizens were taken from the U.S.-flagged ship in a pirate attack off the Nigeria coast. (File/Christian/Shipspotting.com)




    ABUJA, Nigeria, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Two crew members thought to be U.S. citizens were taken from their U.S.-flagged ship in a pirate attack off the Nigeria coast, a U.S. official said Thursday.

    The U.S. officials said the two crew members were the captain and chief engineer, CNN said.


    The attack on the oil platform supply vessel C-Retriever occurred in the Gulf of Guinea off the port city of Brass.


    Details about the attack, the conditions of the kidnapped men or the vessel's condition weren't immediately available.


    The C-Retriever is owned by Edison Chouest Offshore, based in Louisiana.


    The oil-rich Gulf of Guinea has drawn attention as a piracy hotbed recently, with more than 40 pirate attacks reported through September, the International Maritime Bureau said. The bureau said 132 crew members have been taken hostage.


    U.S. Marines were in the region aboard a Dutch ship, CNN said.


    Forces from the United States, Britain, Spain, the Netherlands and five African countries recently conducted exercises off the west African coast meant to help strengthen maritime security, the U.S. Navy said.



    Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-Ne...#ixzz2ifIsZ8HG

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Pirates Singled Out Americans in Ship Attack Off Nigeria, Official Says

    Oct. 24, 2013
    By LUIS MARTINEZ, DANA HUGHES and JOSH MARGOLIN Dana Hughes More from Dana »
    Reporter










    Pirates have stormed an oil supply vessel off southern Nigeria and kidnapped the ship's captain and chief engineer.
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    Armed pirates stormed a U.S.-flagged ship off the coast of Nigeria, separated the crew by nationality and kidnapped two Americans on board, a Pentagon official told ABC News.


    The attack occurred during the early morning hours today just inside international waters. The unknown number of assailants damaged the communications and navigation equipment on the ship as they departed with their captives, possibly an effort to delay notification to authorities, the official said.


    The men are likely now on land and the FBI in New York, which deals with Africa cases, is taking point in the investigation. Another U.S. government official briefed on the situation said the American government is treating the case as a potential kidnapping-for-ransom and not a politically-motivated act.


    Representatives for the State Department and the White House said they are "closely monitoring" the situation. The State Department said that as of now, there's no indication the attack was an act of terrorism.


    The Americans were taken off the U.S.-flagged C-Retriever, a 222-foot vessel owned by U.S. marine transport group Edison Chouest Offshore that is an oil supply vessel. Edison Chouest Offshore did not immediately return requests for comment.


    The kidnapping was first reported by gCaptain.com, a maritime industry news website.


    While globally piracy was down last year to its lowest levels in seven years, cases in Nigeria are on the rise. According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks off Nigeria's coast have jumped by a third this year -- allegedly perpetrated by criminal gangs who are looking for cargo ships with commodities, and seeking ransom for hostages.


    Kidnapping for ransom has been a growing issue in Nigeria for several years. In 2006 ABC News interviewed an American, Texas Richards, who had been kidnapped by Nigerians and freed.


    In 2009, on the other side of Africa, American Capt. Richard Phillips was held hostage on the Indian Ocean by a group of Somali pirates for five days before he was freed in a daring rescue by U.S. Navy SEALs. Hollywood recreated that ordeal in a recent blockbuster film starring Tom Hanks as Capt. Phillips.

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Old article but had to post it...

    Top 5 blunders of Somali pirates


    Somali pirates attacked a French Navy ship by accident Tuesday night. Five suspects are in custody.


    By Matthew Clark, Staff writer / October 7, 2009






    Not a cargo ship: The French Navy ship "Somme" was attacked by Somali pirates on Tuesday.
    Thibaut Claisse/ECPAD/French Navy/AP

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    It's time to roll that sad trombone sound again. You know ... whomp whomp whomp waaaaah.


    The Christian Science Monitor
    Weekly Digital Edition




    Lately, those once fearsome Somali pirates have been behaving more like Keystone Krooks than savvy organized criminals.


    Yesterday, they bit off more than they could chew by attacking a French Navy ship off the coast of their lawless country.


    They thought it was a cargo vessel.


    D'oh!


    "Once they realized they were facing a ship that was responding and was heading towards them, they stopped shooting and attempted to flee," said French military spokesman Christophe Prazuck. "The Somme [a command and supply ship] gave chase and intercepted one of the pirates' boats. All the weapons had apparently been tossed into the sea and the suspected pirates are now being held on board the Somme."
    Sigh.


    Apparently, that's what happens when you attack at night without hi-tech equipment. Despite some evidence of off-shore mother ships, sophisticated money and intelligence transfers, most Somali pirates are rag-tag groups of impoverished fishermen and other coastal dwellers who are in it for some quick cash. With dreams of ransom riches dancing in their heads, they grab their AK-47s, jump into small skiffs, and try to take on passing trading vessels. (Read the recent cover story of our weekly magazine for an inside look at how the business works.)


    This is the third time this year that Somali pirates have attacked a Western military vessel by mistake, which brings us to our Top 5 list of Somali pirates blunders.
    5. Last night's attack on the French Navy vessel.


    4. On May 4, the French Navy captured 11 pirates off the coast of Somalia as part of a European Union operation to protect shipping. The pirates reportedly mistook a French frigate for a commercial ship.


    3. On March 30, pirates apparently mistook a German NATO supply ship, the FGS Spessart, for a merchant ship when they targeted it in the Gulf of Aden, between Somalia and Yemen. "Poor judgment by the pirates turned out to be a real opportunity for seven nations representing three task forces to work together and strike a momentous blow for maritime safety and security," said a NATO spokesman.


    2. On Sept. 26, 2008, pirates seized the Faina, a Ukrainian vessel loaded with $30 million worth of grenade launchers, piles of ammunition, and battle tanks.
    Jackpot! Well, sort of. After four months of negotiations, the owners paid $3.2 million in cash dropped by parachute.
    But this particular pirate operation also resulted in global attention and a concerted military response. It's now much harder for the brigands to ply the region's waters with impunity.


    "After the Faina was taken, two task forces — from Nato and the EU — have sailed for the Gulf of Aden along with an assortment of warships from other nations," reports the London-based Times newspaper. "It was the thought of heavy weaponry falling into the hands of the country’s Islamists — some with links to Al Qaeda — at one of the country’s arms bazaars that provoked an international military response."


    1. On April 8, pirates seized the US-flagged 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama, which was carrying food aid from USAID and other agencies to help malnourished people in Uganda and Somalia. The pirates didn't last long. In a rescue worthy of a Hollywood script, US Navy SEAL snipers killed three pirates and freed the American sea captain who had offered himself as a hostage to save his crew

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    SOMALI PIRATES SHOOT AT TANKER 1 comment

    Pirates have fired upon a products tanker off the coast of Somalia, the IMB reported. The ship was travelling 115nm south of Salalah, Oman on 17 January when it was fired upon by men in a skiff that had been launched from a mother ship. The alarm was raised, and the crew retreated to the unnamed ship’s citadel while the on-boardsecurity guards returned fire. The pirates subsequently called off their attack, the IMB report added. The IMB recorded just six attacks during the whole of 2013 in the Gulf of Aden, compared with 117 in 2009, the year that Somali piracy was at its height.

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    So now that boats have security teams and they return fire, the hijacks have been severely curtailed? You mean arming the victims works? Who would have thunk it?
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    yup....
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    There was some outcry when discussion of armed security was suggested, but no one seems to argue now.

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    The "outcry" is from people who don't like guns.

    Companies don't want to be responsible for their people having guns (even though the Captain must authorize the weapons lockers be opened).
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    HMS PORTLAND SETS OFF ON ANTI-PIRACY MISSION 1 comment

    ALL ABOARD: Sailors line up on HMS Portland
    Royal Navy warship HMS Portland was waved off by families and friends when she deployed from Plymouth on a seven-month Atlantic patrol.
    The ship has close ties with Weymouth and Portland and several local sailors serve on board.
    The Plymouth-based Type 23 frigate left HM Naval Base, Devonport to provide protection and reassurance to British interests in the region. It maintains the continuous Royal Naval presence in the Atlantic.
    A small crowd gathered on Devil’s Point with good luck banners as they bade farewell to the ship sailing through Plymouth Sound to sea.
    HMS Portland will undertake maritime security operations, including counter-narcotics and anti-piracy patrols, providing opportunities to work with other navies to strengthen ties and demonstrate the Royal Navy’s commitment to the region.
    Commanding Officer of HMS Portland, Commander Sarah West said: “This deployment marks the culmination of a busy period regenerating HMS Portland from upkeep to operational status.
    “My ship’s company are looking forward to the challenges offered by the deployment and the opportunity to work alongside other navies.’’
    Cdr West, the first female commander of a Royal Naval major warship, said: “I have been in the Navy for 18 years and taking this ship on deployment is the pinnacle of my career.
    “I have a great ship’s company and they are also looking forward to the deployment ahead.’’
    She also thanked families and friends for their support to her and her crew in taking the ship out of maintenance and through intensive ship’s trials and training.
    She leaves a sister and mother and many friends back in the UK, but will be keeping in touch.
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    INDIAN DHOW’S CREW RESCUED, FIVE PIRATES ARRESTED 1 comment

    BYREJIMON K
    The dhow, named Shane Hind, had been hijacked in the lawless waters off Somalia’s coast. Photo – Supplied
    Muscat: The French EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta flagship FS Siroco, in cooperation with Japanese assets, released an 11-member Indian crew of a dhow that was suspected to have been used as pirate mother-ship. The flagship apprehended five suspected pirates believed to be responsible for an attack on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, a day earlier. “The operation took place after an aborted pirate attack on an oil tanker in the area,” the joint defence staff said.
    The dhow was suspected to have served as a rear base for the pirates, who launched a failed bid to take over the Nave Atropos, an oil tanker sailing under a flag from the Marshall Islands.
    A Japanese naval patrol and forces from international fleet patrolling the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean also took part in the operation about 75 kilometres (45 miles) off Oman’s coast.
    The dhow, named Shane Hind, had been hijacked several days earlier in the lawless waters off Somalia’s coast.
    Distress call
    The oil tanker issued a distress call to the UK Maritime Trade Operation (UKMTO) on the evening of Friday reporting to be under attack. According to reports, the attack was repelled by a private armed security team on board the oil tanker.
    The skiff then headed to a dhow which lingered nearby. The EU Naval Force, in cooperation with other Counter Piracy Forces, reacted quickly to this incident. A Japanese Maritime Patrol Aircraft and a helicopter from the Japanese vessel JS Samidare initially located the dhow. The EU NAVFOR flagship FS Siroco was then able to close distance and launch their helicopter and boarding team.
    Upon nearing the dhow, the helicopter crew and boarding team observed that people on board the dhow were throwing equipment over board, deepening the suspicion that the dhow was indeed the reported pirate mother-ship.
    Once the Siroco’s team boarded the dhow, five Somali suspect pirates surrendered and were separated from the dhow’s crew and transferred to FS Siroco for further investigation. As always, the EU Naval Force seeks, if possible, a legal finish with the prosecution of the suspected pirates.
    The master’s initial statement supported the suspicion that his dhow had been hijacked and his crew taken hostage several days ago off the coast of Somalia. He also stated that the suspect pirates were responsible for the attack on the oil tanker the day before.
    “Thanks to an exceptionally effective international cooperation, we showed once more that there will be no safe haven for piracy in the area as long as Counter Piracy Forces remain fully dedicated to their task. I also congratulate FS Siroco with this success,” said the EU NAVFOR Force Commander, Rear Admiral HervéBléjean.
    Meanwhile, a source at Salalah Port said they had not come across any such incident.
    “The French navy ship left Salalah Port on Sunday night. We have not come across any such reports,” a source said.

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