Security & Fraud

Cyberattack Strikes Chinese Shipper Cosco

Cosco Shipping Holdings Co. was the victim of a cyberattack that disabled the Chinese state-run company’s U.S. website and email systems.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company said the attack hasn’t disrupted its global shipping operations.

“So far, all vessels of our company are operating normally, and our main business operations are stable,” Cosco said in a statement posted Wednesday (July 25) on its Facebook page. The company was communicating with customers via social media.

The company revealed that a “local network breakdown” in the Americas had disrupted its email and telephone in the region. It shut connections with other regions as a safety precaution, but noted that business operations in Americas were still ongoing.

Cosco officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The attack comes soon after Cosco took over one of its Asian rivals, Orient Overseas Container Lines. The transaction gave the company control over a large container terminal in Port of Long Beach, in California. Officials at the Port of Long Beach said the terminal’s operations currently weren’t affected.

“We don’t see any effects as of yet,” a spokesman said. “That doesn’t mean we aren’t taking it seriously.”

Cosco is the latest shipping company hit with a cyberattack. Last year, A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world’s biggest container operator, was hit by an attack that disrupted the company’s operations for weeks and cost the shipping line some $300 million.

Also last year, Clarksons, the U.K. shipping service provider, disclosed that its computer systems were hit by a data breach. The company said its initial investigations found that a single and isolated user account (which has since been disabled) was granted unauthorized access to its computer system.

Clarksons added that it put in place additional security measures to prevent a similar cyberattack from happening and that as soon as the data breach was discovered, the company took the appropriate actions in response.

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