COSCO shipping has been at the receiving end of a cyber attack this week that saw its operations being hit across the world. The attack started out in the early hours of Tuesday in its U.S. office, with systems going down and certain email services getting affected. The problem spread out across the Americas over the next few days, with Canada, Panama, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Uruguay being affected.
News spread and various news outlets raised the possibility of COSCO being held up by a ransomware attack. Though COSCO’s official press releases never substantiated the claims, they neither seemed to put the concerns of a ransomware attack to the ground. The initial statementthat came out on Wednesday made no specific mention of the countries that were affected, painting them under the “America regions” and in what can be called a plain-worded explanation at best, called the issue a “local network breakdown”.
The statements that followed mentioned the countries that were affected, but there still has been no word on the type of attack that the company has come under. Over the last two days, COSCO has been working with customers through its social media page and had also mentioned that the communication lines like its website, emails, EDI, and CargoSmart that remain open to the users had not been compromised.
“So far, all the vessels of our company are operating as normal, and our main business operation systems are performing stably,“ said the statement. “We have and will continue to assess developments and take corresponding measures to minimize the impact of current events on business.”
Following the course of events, it can be seen that though the cyber attack had spread to different centers of COSCO, it has not inflicted major damage as the company’s shipping operations go about unhindered. Then again, the larger issue at hand isn’t this isolated incident, but the frequency of such attacks in the logistics world.