Maersk cyber attack

Maersk Cyber Attack & The Impact On The Moving Industry

The moving and shipping industry suffered from its most damaging IT cyber attack in recent history when global shipping giant A.P. Miller-Maersk was targeted last week.

In the second major ransomware attack of this year, the new Petya ransomware virus started to affect companies across Europe early on Tuesday 27th June, before spreading to the US and South America. Maersk were forced to shut down their website and large parts of their global operations to halt the spread of the virus, with major ports including the Port of New York and New Jersey on the US East Coast and Rotterdam, Europe’s largest harbour, temporarily closed when the virus affected multiple AP terminals.

With a fleet of over 600 container vessels, Maersk handles over a quarter of all containers shipped on the busy Asia-Europe route and inevitably the attack had a huge knock on effect across the moving and shipping industries, affecting shipment booking and communications between companies. Following an official statement by Maersk on Wednesday confirming “IT and communications infrastructure have been impacted and we have proactively shut down as a security measure,” the group took to their website and social media channels to keep customers updated.

Terminals in the UK were not directly affected by the attack, but without access to Maersk systems, many moving firms were unable to issue quotes or accept new bookings. Leading moving company Pickfords also issued a statement on their website and social media channels to keep their customers informed of the situation.

By the end of the week, Maersk was ‘progressing towards technical recovery’ with online bookings, cargo loading and cargo in transit all operating normally. Nevertheless, this recent attack highlights yet again how Cyber security is among the most pressing issues facing our business today and that no organisation is immune to the threat.

Dan Reynolds, Director at Reason Global said, “We are talking to our clients wherever we feel appropriate regarding the growing threat of Cyber and the potential exposures. It is a growing concern for many industries but can still be seen as something that doesn’t really affect ours. However, this latest incident shows how issues in supply chains can cause strong knock-on effects to our own clients and their customers in turn. Unfortunately, the threat continues to grow as seen in the news far too often recently. It is now a reality that Cyber exposure needs to form part of a company’s overall risk management programme.”