Black Friday Deliveries Hit By Hack Attack, Don’t Pay Up Warns Fed Cyber Experts
Companies supplying Black Friday and Holiday period stock to retailers are this morning facing an anxious wait after the Federal Government stepped in and closed down the operations of DP World the Middle East owned stevedoring Company.
According to several CE and appliance distributors along with several major brands who are still waiting for stock for Black Friday and holiday period sales the delay “could not have come at a worse possible time” with tens of thousands of containers now trapped in delays at Australian ports.
Among the retailers affected are Bunnings, Big W, JB Hi Fi, Bing Lee, Kmart and Target and The Good Guys.
Operations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth that handle 40 per cent of the goods coming in and out of Australia have been unable to operate since early on Friday morning. 10am on Friday.
DP World Australia boss Nicolaj Noes says it could be days before containers stuck at ports are collected.
The shutdown prevented some 30,000 containers of goods from moving in or out of its terminals.
The good news is that ships can still unload containers with space for containers set to become a priority as 90% of the available space has already been used to store containers from last week and the weekend with November shipment among the highest due to holiday period demands.
The problem is that the software used to communicate with freight companies and freight forwarders has been bought to a standstill as
DP World is currently testing alternatives to its usual technical systems, the Company has warned they would not operate at the same scale.
Currently Federal Government Cyber and Security experts are working with DP World, to assess the logistical impact of the cyberattack and are trying to track how the hack happened.
DP World Australia hasn’t received a ransom demand with Nicolaj Noes who oversees the Oceania business claiming that the Company doesn’t know which organization is responsible for the attack or where the hackers are from.
“While I understand there is interest in determining who may be responsible for the cyber incident, our primary focus at this time remains on resolving the incident and supporting DP World to restore their operations” and recommence cargo shipments, the government’s National Cybersecurity Coordinator Darren Goldie wrote on X. “We are continuing to develop our understanding of the flow on impacts to Australia’s logistics system.”
He has warned there could be a “snowball effect” from the delays in getting containers to customers, partially due to the difficulty of reassigning import and export slots when systems are restored.
DP World already has arrangements for some shipping lines to drop off containers at rival stevedores like Patrick, due to recent industrial action, and Patrick executives are understood to have contacted DP World to offer assistance.
Air Marshal Darren Goldie, the country’s cybersecurity coordinator, said the government’s opposition to paying ransoms applied in this case, despite the severity of the hack.
“We’ve explicitly given that advice to the company since this incident,” Mr Goldie said. He praised how DP World Australia was handling the hack, saying he had been speaking with the company every two hours since being informed of the breach on Friday evening.