Australia Ports Back Online Following Shut Down Due To Cyber Attack

A major Australian port operator has successfully restored its online operations following a recent cyber-attack that temporarily incapacitated facilities. DP World Australia’s container terminals in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth experienced disruptions from Friday until Monday morning, affecting approximately 40% of the country’s goods transport. Despite the setback, there has been no impact on the supply chain to major Australian supermarkets.

In a statement, DP World Australia, a subsidiary of the Dubai state-owned DP World, confirmed the resumption of port operations at 09:00 local time after conducting successful tests of key systems overnight. The company expects around 5,000 containers to be processed at the four Australian terminals today.

Darren Goldie, the government’s cyber-security co-ordinator, commented on the situation on Monday, noting the operator’s “good progress” in restoring its sites. However, he stated that the government has not yet identified the perpetrators of the cyber-attack, leading DP World to disconnect its ports from the internet as a precautionary measure.

DP World explained that the decision to halt internet connectivity on Friday was made to prevent any ongoing unauthorized access to its network, disrupting the movement of containers to and from affected sites. While the resumption of port operations on Monday is a positive development, DP World emphasized that its investigation into the disruption and ongoing efforts to safeguard against cyber-attacks will continue for some time.

Goldie characterized the incident as “nationally significant” and mentioned that the government, in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency, is addressing the impacts. He indicated that the interruption is expected to persist “for a number of days,” affecting the flow of goods in and out of the country.

“Our priority is to assist DP World Australia in resolving the incident so that they can restore access to the ports they operate nationwide,” he said.

In addition to the cyber-attack, DP World has faced challenges due to industrial action, causing delays in customer deliveries. Ongoing strikes and refusal to unload trucks by workers, engaged in negotiations for pay increases since October, have impacted operations. The Maritime Union of Australia recently announced an extension of industrial action until 20 November.

Australia has experienced an increase in cyber-attacks since late 2022, prompting the government to announce plans to overhaul cyber-security laws and establish an agency to coordinate responses to intrusions. Details on the proposed rules are expected to be released next week, potentially introducing stricter reporting requirements for companies.

This cybersecurity incident follows a recent attack on Melbourne’s cryptocurrency exchange Coinspot, resulting in the loss of over $2 million from accounts. Additionally, in September, a data breach led to the exposure of information from nearly 200,000 Pizza Hut customers.

Information for this story was found via BBC, Independent, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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