By Lee Matthews, FORBES
The infamous NotPetya ransomware ran rampant last summer. One of its most high-profile victims was A.P. Moller-Maersk.
The Dutch shipping giant was reportedly saddled with $200 million in costs related to the outbreak.
(Learn More. Shipping firm AP Moller-Maersk had to reinstall thousands of PCs and servers to recover from the NotPetya ransomware attack that affected it last year, it has said. Over the course of 10 days in June and July, Maersk – the world’s largest container shipping company – struggled with administrative chaos, as many of the 76 ports it operates in dealt with NotPetya. Cancellations and delays caused up to $300 million in lost revenues, Maersk said in August. Soren Skou discusses Moller-Maersk’s digital strategy and the Petya ransomware cyber-attack that affected its operations in 2017. Courtesy of CNBC and YouTube. Posted on Jan 24, 2018.)
This week another major industry player was hit. Shanghai-based Cosco, the world’s fourth-largest maritime shipper, reported a ransomware outbreak of its own.
Cosco has yet to reveal many details about the incident publicly. In fact, in a company press release there’s no mention of ransomware.
Instead the announcement refers to a “local network breakdown” affecting operations at its locations in the United States.
Internal emails sent to Cosco staff told a different story.
According to a pair of maritime news sources that have seen the emails, staff were warned to be on the lookout for suspicious messages in their inboxes.
Cosco locations outside the U.S. stepped up anti-malware defenses in hopes of preventing the infection from spreading overseas.
The situation at Cosco doesn’t appear to be as dire as the one faced by Maersk in 2017.
The NotPetya infection was so devastating that some of the company’s vessels were stuck in port.
(Learn More. Large-scale cyberattacks like NotPetya not only interrupt machines, but also businesses and everyday lives, reinforcing the need for a Digital Geneva Convention. Part of Microsoft President Brad Smith’s RSA keynote address on April 17, 2018. Courtesy of Microsoft and YouTube. Posted on Apr 17, 2018.)
Cosco, on the other hand, seemed mostly to be having communications issues.
Email and telephone services were impacted and the company’s American website remains offline for the time being.
Cosco stressed that its entire fleet was still operating normally and that its “main business operation systems” were stable.
Assuming that’s an accurate assessment, it’s very good news for Cosco.
The company could have easily been staring down a protracted fight to recover its systems and a multi-hundred million dollar expense sheet.
(Learn More. A Port of Long Beach terminal affiliated with Cosco Shipping has been hit by a ransomware attack – but the incident has not derailed operations, according to a port spokesman. “Ships, trains and trucks are coming in and out as usual,” Lee Peterson told TradeWinds today. Courtesy of NA and YouTube. Posted on Jul 27, 2018.)