Cybercrime , Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Geo-Specific

DP World Says Australian Employee Data Stolen in Attack

Stevedore Says No Ransomware Found in Attack That Disrupted Australian Shipping
DP World Says Australian Employee Data Stolen in Attack
A cargo ship enters the port in Melbourne in April 2021. (Image: Shutterstock)

A cyber incident that incapacitated four major Australian ports for days also resulted in the theft by hackers of employee data, the port operator said Tuesday.

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Stevedore DP World's Down Under subsidiary said hackers had obtained personal information of current and former employees in an incident first detected on Nov. 10. The hackers did not take customer information (see: Major Australian Ports Affected by Cyber Incident).

The Dubai company said it had not found any ransomware malware on its network and had not received a ransom demand.

The incident caused the stevedore to disconnect the logistics system connecting trucks with company systems, creating a backlog of roughly 30,000 shipping containers in the ports of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle that accumulated over nearly three days of forced downtime. Other stevedores at the four ports were unaffected by the incident The company said it had cleared by backlog on Nov. 20. DP World Australia handles roughly 40% of Australia's international container cargo each year. DP World said the incident had not affected operations outside of Australia.

The incident captured the attention of Australian authorities, who characterized it as "nationally significant" and mobilized government resources in response (see: Australian Ports Recover From Cyber Incident).

Australia has experienced a wave of likely opportunistic ransomware attacks and data breaches over the past 18 months, elevating cybersecurity as a national priority. The government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said earlier this month it will spend AU$587 million in a bid to convert Australia into a "world leader in cybersecurity" by the end of this decade. The strategy calls for mandated ransomware reporting by businesses, additional law enforcement capacity and funding startups with innovative cybersecurity solutions (see: Australia Unveils AU$587M Strategy to Defeat Cybercrime).

About the Author

Mihir Bagwe

Mihir Bagwe

Principal Correspondent, Global News Desk, ISMG

Bagwe previously worked at CISO magazine, reporting the latest cybersecurity news and trends and interviewing cybersecurity subject matter experts.

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