A major cyberattack has disrupted operations at several of Australia’s largest ports, causing delays and congestion. DP World, one of the country’s largest port operators, handling approximately 40% of the nation’s container trade, was hit by the attack late on Friday.
The attack affected critical systems used to coordinate shipping activity, forcing DP World to shut down access to its port networks on land to prevent further unauthorized access. This has resulted in a backlog of cargo at the affected ports, with some containers expected to be stranded for several days.
The Australian Federal Police and the Australian Cyber Security Centre are investigating the source and nature of the attack, which has been deemed a “nationally significant incident” by federal cybersecurity coordinator Darren Goldie.
The timing, scale, and impact of the disruption suggest that this was a targeted attack, likely carried out by a foreign state actor with the intent of undermining Australia’s national security or economic interests.
The attack highlights the vulnerability of the maritime industry to cyber threats and the need for increased cybersecurity measures. Ports should closely coordinate with government counterparts and industry partners on intelligence sharing and cybersecurity best practices to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats.
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