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Cosco's US operations hit by cyber attack but cargo is still moving

来源:    编辑:编辑部    发布:2018/07/27 10:16:09

SHANGHAI-BASED Cosco Shipping's US operations have been hit with a cyber attack on Tuesday that is compromising the ability of the carrier to communicate with its vessels, customers, vendors, and marine terminals.

Terminal operators at a half-dozen North American ports said Wednesday they are processing documentation and delivery orders from Cosco Shipping vessels more slowly than usual, but they're getting the job done, during the second day of the cyber attack on Cosco's operations in the Americas.

Cosco vessels are calling at terminals throughout North America pretty much on schedule., reports IHS Media.

"The delivery process takes longer because it's being done with emails rather than computers," Ed DeNike, president of SSA Containers, said Wednesday. SSA handles Cosco's vessel calls at its terminals in Seattle, Oakland and Long Beach.

Cosco continues to guide its customers through e-mail transmissions for the booking of cargo, and in dealing with service issues, following the cyber attack on its operations in the Americas. "We're talking to the customers, giving them the work-arounds," Howard Finkel, senior vice president of trade, said Wednesday. "We're not frozen out of doing business," he said.

It is uncertain at this time how long it will take to restore full operations. In 2017, Cosco was ranked sixth in US imports and eighth in US exports (prior to the OOCL merger).

While they are addressing the immediate need of processing vessels and delivering containers, the terminals are taking steps to protect themselves against any malware associated with the cyber attack.

"Our security team is creating a safe email exchange facility that will allow inbound Cosco emails to be extensively screened prior to their relay to operations," said Rich Ceci, senior vice president of technology and projects at Virginia International Terminals. The new email facility will address the processing of inbound ship files, while other EDI needs, including bookings and freight releases, are being handled verbally, Mr Ceci said.

This is the second major cyber attack on the shipping industry in the past year. Last year's attack on the Maersk Group reverberated throughout its global network and cost the company US$250 million to $350 million, CEO Soren Skou said at the time.

Despite these major incidents, the international shipping industry is still not doing enough to guard against future attacks. Phil Tinsley, head of maritime security at BIMCO, told a London International Shipping Week event last year that the size and scope of the threat is largely unknown, due in part to shipowners' reluctance to share their experiences with each other.

Lars Jensen, CEO of CyberKeel, said the good news is that many businesses now acknowledge that the threat of cyber attacks is real and growing, but the actions they are taking to guard against attacks are insufficient.

Earlier this year, Cosco began upgrading its fleet with new cyber security specifications from classification society Lloyd's Register, beginning with 20,000 TEU Cosco Shipping Aries, delivered in January.