Monday, December 20, 2021

Another Logistics Player Reels from the Damage Inflicted by Cyber Criminals

Data Stolen - Servers Forced to Shut Down - Supply Chain Providers are a Juicy Target
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – WORLDWIDE – One can but only feel sympathy for Hellmann Worldwide Logistics which has been struggling with what appears to be the latest cyber attack on a major supply chain player.

The incident, which happened on 9 December, confirms once again that the freight transport sector is a juicy target for would be ransom artists who believe the nature of the business and the high revenues involved will put the companies concerned under massive pressure to get their customers goods moving again, or worse still, their ships or aircraft controllable.

Whilst Hellmann has, probably wisely, disclosed no confirmation that the disruption to its systems was caused by a malicious outside agency, the Osnabruck headquartered group shut down all its management servers within 24 hours of the problem arising.

The incident bears similar hallmarks to the first major publicly declared attack in the sector which took place against Danish group Maersk in the Summer of 2017 and was swiftly followed by a slew of crimes of the same hue. FedEx, Clarksons, Deutsche Bahn, Svitzer and Cosco, a list of names from a variety of sectors and countries with one thing in common, all giants in their logistics related fields.

Hellmann has actually confirmed an attack simply by accepting and advising  that data was taken from its servers before the systems were moved offline. This has prompted the company to inform all customers that they should ensure that they are speaking to a genuine Hellmann employee before divulging any information by phone or email. It continues to issue bulletins to keep customers up to date.

The German group says its Global Crisis Taskforce, which jumped on the problem so quickly, is also working with outside security experts to track exactly what happened and in a statement said the business operations are ‘largely’ running again as normal and it has confidence that any remaining restrictions will soon be eliminated.

We have run many articles on this problem in the past (search cyber attack from the News Search box) including advice on how to best protect against similar crimes with links to such as the TT Club’s Stop Loss 18 which focuses on cyber crimes and how to avoid them.

The problem however can only be solved, or at least minimalised as much as is possible, by in house training of all staff and strictly adhered to security management practices, coupled with up to date security technology.