Cyberattack Launched Against DP World Australia Port


This week, unknown attackers launched a cyberattack on DP World Australia. This international company specializes in cargo logistics and port operations. It is the second cyberattack on a global key infrastructure this month.

In Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Fremantle, four of Australia’s biggest ports, the port operator had to close the docks, which made it hard for DP World Australia to do business there.

After an attack on China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, this one on the port provider comes next. It’s possible that the two big attacks that happened so close to each other were not by the same people. Instead, it shows that cyberattackers are increasingly going after transportation, energy, and finance infrastructure.

In a statement sent to Bleeping Computer, DP World Australia said hackers may still try to get money from the company after a data breach by threatening to access and steal data. But there has been no talk of ransom yet, and no data has been shared.

“One important area of investigation in this ongoing case is how data is accessed and stolen,” the media statement says. “DP World Australia understands that this development may cause concern for some stakeholders…and is working hard to find out if any personal information has been affected. According to Bleeping Computer, they have also contacted the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

So far, no known malware group has taken credit for the attack.

Port Sails Toward Recovery of Operations

According to the port company, DP World Australia’s operations are slowly getting back to normal four days after the cyberattack. That the ports were reopened after “successful tests of key systems overnight,” DP World Australia said in a statement. It also said that around 5,000 containers would start to leave its four sites.

“The ongoing investigation and response to protect networks and systems may cause some necessary, short-term service interruptions in the next few days,” DP World Australia said. “This is part of the investigation process and getting back to normal for this size of operation.”

Reports say the damage is in the millions of dollars because many of the crates that got stuck hold goods that need to be delivered quickly. DP Australia has not yet given an exact amount of damage.

The attack on DP World Australia, which is based in Dubai, stopped the flow of about 30,000 shipping containers because they had to be stored elsewhere. Around 70 million containers pass through the port every year. That’s about 40% of all the goods that come into and leave Australia.

Putting Port Attack into Perspective

Security experts had something to say about the hack on DP World Australia.

The CEO of HYAS, Dave Ratner, said that attacks on key infrastructure do more than just steal data.

“They have the potential for economic and consumer impacts, up to and including life-impacting ones,” he stated. That’s why it’s so important to set up organizational resilience. It is no longer enough to try to stop all threats. Companies need to be able to see and handle breaches well to find them and stop them before they cause any harm.

“Low-code security automation platform [that] allows full visibility into IT environments through real-time data collection, creating a more efficient and comprehensive response,” says Nick Tausek, lead security automation architect at Swimlane. It will help international companies avoid future breaches.

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