Home Business Australian ports back online after cyber-attack

Australian ports back online after cyber-attack

One of Australia’s major port operators is back online after a cyber-attack crippled its facilities.

Operations at DP World Australia container terminals in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth were disrupted from Friday to Monday morning.

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The firm manages around 40% of goods entering and leaving the country.

The outage has not affected the supply of goods to major Australian supermarkets, the BBC understands.

DP World Australia, a unit of the Dubai state-owned DP World, said its ports resumed operations at 9am local time “following successful tests of key systems overnight”.

It added “The company expects that approximately 5,000 containers will move out of the four Australian terminals today.”

Earlier on Monday, Darren Goldie, the government’s Cyber Security Coordinator, said the operator was making “good progress” at bringing its sites back online.

He added that the government had not yet identified the perpetrators of the cyber-attack, which caused the firm to disconnect its ports from the internet.

DP World said it halted internet connectivity at its ports on Friday to prevent “any ongoing unauthorised access” to its network.

Going offline meant trucks had been unable to transport containers in and out of the affected sites.

The resumption of service on Monday is the first step towards tackling the attack on its network. DP World said it was still in the process of investigating the disruption and guarding its systems against cyber attacks.

“The resumption of port operations does not mean that this incident has concluded. DP World Australia’s investigation and ongoing remediation work are likely to continue for some time,” the company added.

Double whammy

DP World has also been affected by industrial action, which has caused a delay in customer deliveries.

Since it began in October, workers have engaged in 24-hour strikes and refused to unload trucks.

The Maritime Union of Australia, which is negotiating pay increases for workers, announced last week that the industrial action would be extended to 20 November.

The cyber-attack added to fears that the supply of everything from medical equipment to Christmas toys could be disrupted.

However, a spokesperson from supermarket chain Woolworths said it was monitoring the situation and does not “anticipate any immediate impacts at this time”.

The BBC understands that Woolworths’ range of Christmas products has already arrived in Australia.

The disruption is also not expected to affect rival chain Coles, which is similarly monitoring developments at DP World.

Australia has seen a rise in cyber attacks since late-2022.

Earlier this year, the Albanese government announced plans to overhaul its cybersecurity laws, and set up an agency to coordinate responses to intrusions.

The government is expected to release details on its proposed rules next week – which will likely tighten reporting requirements for companies.

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