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ACFS Port Logistics wards off cyber attack

We do not pay ransoms, Tzaneros says as IT systems come back up


ACFS Port Logistics is recovering its IT systems today after a cyber-attack.

The national container logistics company found its systems broached yesterday, affecting operations and empty container park services .

“Our systems are coming on line server by server,” ACFS CEO Arthur Tzaneros told ATN.

Warehousing operations were due to be back running as normal this morning, with empty container parks set to return soon after that, while Tzaneros and his management team hoped transport and remaining systems were expected to be working at day’s end.

“It’s been an amazing effort by the team,” he said.

“We caught the cyber incident very early and shut all our systems down very quickly so information wasn’t compromised.

“It was all managed very, very quickly, due to the security systems we had in place.”

Those systems are managed by eSecure, the Melbourne-headquartered information security and risk management services with offices in large eastern capitals and London, which was bought by Australian digital services and cybersecurity firm Orro in September.

“We are hoping to be fully operational by this evening,” Tsaneros said, noting that there would still be work to do to rectify the disruption.

“To the outside world and to our customers, we should be in a fairly strong position by close of play today.”

Read the ATN feature on Toll Group and cyberattacks, here

Tsaneros would not be drawn on the detail of the attack, beyond saying that is was “a typical cyber incident”.

“I can’t say too much more than that but I want to make it very clear, ACFS does not pay ransoms.”

Once the threat had been established, the company had sought to minimise disruption where it could at a time of peak demand.

Empty container depots were accepting de-hired containers, while manual processes were undertaken for driver and container details.

Services for export containers, however, were affected.

The incident will serve as a further warning, should that be needed, that transport and logistics is as exposed as any other industry to cyber-criminal activity.

Toll Group was just the largest and most high-profile victim of such an attack which emerged in February 2020 and affected the firm for at least four months afterward at a time when it was already under financial pressure.

Closer to ports, Container logistics platform Containerchain took two days to rectify its systems following a ransomware attack in October 2020, as was global containership operator CMA CGM.


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