It is not yet clear how the attack was carried out or which groups are behind it, but DNV says its systems were hit by malware that encrypts data on computers and sometimes demands a ransom payment to release it. The shipping industry is an important target for attackers because of the valuable data stored on ships, including navigation records and cargo manifests.
The Oslo-based DNV said that it was forced to shut down its servers after being targeted by a file-encrypting malware. The company said that the malware had caused the shutdown, and that ShipManager software is used by more than 7,000 vessels owned by 300 customers.
DNV reported that the cyberattack against its customers vessels operating around 1,000 vessels was the largest of its kind. The attack has caused significant disruptions to the operations of70 customers, close to 15% of DNV’s total fleet. Cybersecurity experts have stated that attacks like this are becoming more common as businesses increasingly move their operations online.
The cyber-attack on ShipManager did not prevent vessels from operating, but it has caused many crewmember’s jobs to be in jeopardy. DNV confirmed that all vessels can still use the onboard, offline functionalities of the ShipManager software. Crewmembers may need to take additional precautions to protect themselves from future cyber-attacks.
Rickmers, a Danish shipping company, said that it detected a denial of service attack on its systems on March 1st and took active measures to prevent any data theft. However, the company is confident that other DNV servers have not been affected and will not affect the shipping process.
Investigators are still trying to determine who is responsible for the attack, but they have said that the company’s computer systems were specifically targeted. They are working to find any links between the company and the perpetrators, and they have asked for anyone with information about what happened to contact them.
Since it is unclear who was behind the attack on DNV, it’s uncertain whether the company received a ransom demand or not. However, if they did, the responsible party could have made an extremely expensive mistake by underestimating the company’s resources. This kind of attack has shown that even highly respected organizations can be susceptible to cybercrime, so vigilance is key.
Data security is of utmost importance for DNV GL, and the company is currently working closely with global IT security partners to analyze the incident and ensure secure online operations as soon as possible. In the meantime, all affected customers have been advised to consider relevant mitigating measures depending on the types of data they have uploaded to the system.
The recent ransomware attack on DNV is only the most high-profile evidence of how vulnerable shipping companies are to cyber attack. Cyber criminals target shipping companies because they represent a lucrative and vulnerable target. Shipping companies are often poorly funded and lack the security infrastructure to protect themselves from sophisticated cyber attacks.