Another cyberattack has shook the shipping industry this week with a targeted attack taking place in the Australian shipping market.
DP World, a leading global port operator, was attacked on Friday, November 10th. As a result, the company is now facing a container backlog and general delays across major ports in Australia.
Friday morning, DP World was hit by cybercriminals, who brought down company operations by triggering a system shutdown. Over the weekend, the company stared down as many as 30,000 shipping containers backlogged due to the hack. As of today, it is expected only 5,000 of those 30,000 will be able to move.
The ports in question include Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Fremantle, all located in some of Australia’s largest cities. At the same time that it is dealing with a cyberattack, DP World also faces a strike from port workers, which could continue to drag out delays past this week.
DP World did not receive any ransom demands, and the cyberattack was not based primarily on ransomware being deployed. Rather, it was disruption that hit the company hardest.
The cyberattack, just one of the latest in a string of cybercrime hitting shipping, is particularly impactful due to its high-profile target.
DP World is responsible for a large percentage of containers shipped in and out of Australia, so this cyberattack is very impactful. But, it’s important to note that DP World is hardly the first major target to be hit by cybercriminals in the shipping industry. Ports across the world, including in the U.S. and Canada were hit in recent years. And, some of the world’s global shipping leaders, including Maersk, MSC, COSCO, and CMA CGM, have all suffered from cyberattacks over the past few years.
Many times, these types of cyberattacks occur due to simple security measures not being implemented, such as two-factor authentication and verified email security, such as SPF and DKIM records. With just a few changes, shipping companies can do so much to reduce their chances of being hit and affected by a cyberattack.
As there are more developments regarding the DP World cyberattack and any after-effects, we will report those developments on More Than Shipping.