AIS Handshake

An AIS handshake is the use of a decoy vessel as a disguise. The dirty* vessel will assume the clean vessel’s identity as they are sailing at close proximity, while the clean vessel makes its way to its destination while dark. Upon returning, the vessels will recreate the switch, leaving the clean vessel unscathed.  


*According to C4ADS, “dirty” in this context refers to a vessel subject to public derogatory reporting, or law enforcement action that may inhibit its ability to engage in commercial operations at will. “Clean” refers to a vessel that has not been the subject of derogatory reporting or law enforcement action that would inhibit its ability to engage in normal commercial activity. So-called “dirty” vessels may masquerade as clean vessels to conduct activities that would be prohibited or difficult under their own identities.