Tuesday, October 30, 2018


It is amazing what you can accomplish with teamwork.

Hope to have some big announcements about the Project Gunsway team soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Our talk from DerbyCon is now up on IronGeek for your viewing edification.  We have also added a page for videos from conferences.
Also,  be sure to check out our colleague and I Am The Cavalry volunteer Stephan Gerling's recent yacht talk from Hacklu conference.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Legacy of the Gunsway

In August of 1695, a twenty-five ship convoy left Mocha on the Arabian peninsula bound for Surat, India.  The convoy belonged to the Indian Mughal dynasty’s Emperor Aurangzeb and was led by his treasure-laden flagship the Ganj-i-Sawai. Laying in wait was another flotilla—five pirate ships led by English mutineer and former Royal Navy officer Henry Every.

After a fierce battle, the Ganj-i-Sawai (anglicized as “Gunsway”) was captured by the pirates, along with her escort ship the Fateh Muhammed. The pirates sailed away with an estimated £600,000 in treasure, or adjusting for inflation from 1700, approximately $123,000,000. They also left dozens dead. The incident would nearly lead to war between the British and Mughal empires, and the famed British East India Company was nearly forced out of business.

Ships like Every’s 46-gun privateer, the Fancy, were the pinnacle of 17th century technology. Every’s crew used their mastery of that technology to steal a fortune in gold, silver, and jewels. It also allowed them to evade the ensuing, first of its kind, global manhunt from Madagascar to the Bahamas. Eventually six of the Fancy’s crew of 150 pirates were captured, tried, convicted and hanged in London. But the rest, including Every, escaped justice and disappeared with their treasure.

The details of the attack were embellished and glamorized in English popular culture in plays, books, and songs. This led to countless copy-cat acts of piracy, including inspiring the career of the infamous Edward Teach, better known as “Black Beard”.

A Maritime Internet of Things (IoT)

Today, our reliance on computers and information technology is increasing faster than our ability to safeguard ourselves. Modern ships are increasingly automated with industrial control systems (ICS), and networked via satellite and cellular broadband communications, making them a floating extension of the Internet of Things (IoT).

With $19 Trillion in goods, about the value of the entire U.S. economy, transported by these ships annually, there is a strong incentive for criminals to attack the computers on which the maritime industry now depends. Beyond the financial stakes, these cyber-physical attacks pose significant risk to public safety and human life.

Mastery of maritime technologies, will determine whether authorities are able to safeguard our ports, ships, offshore oil and gas platforms, and other critical infrastructure, or whether modern criminals and terrorists are able to commit the next “Gunsway” attack with the same impunity as Henry Every and his crew.

Our Mission

We are Project Gunsway--grassroots volunteers committed to ensuring that maritime-related technologies are worthy of the trust we place in them. We will accomplish this goal by applying our expertise, both as sailors and hackers, to conduct original security research involving the maritime Internet of Things (IoT). We are also dedicated to working within the information security and maritime communities to encourage others to join the effort.

Vulnerability Note VU#176301

We fulfill our mission at Project Gunsway primarily through vulnerability research, and ethical, coordinated disclosure of vulnerability information.  Our most recent efforts have centered on diesel engine control units (DCUs) used in marine propulsion and electric power systems.  

This week Carnegie Mellon University's CERT CC  has issued four Common Vulnerability Enumeration (CVE) notices related to our work analyzing Auto-Maskin brand equipment.  In the coming weeks we will post additional "deep-dive" information on the reverse-engineering work that led to this release.

We thank all parties involved in assisting us with coordinating disclosure including the Maritime and Port Security ISAO (MPS-ISAO), US-CERT and ICS-CERT, as well as Norway CERT.
Please refer to the following link for the full notice: https://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/176301