Transnet: Port Authority
A cyberattack at South Africa’s biggest port operator, Transnet, snarled maritime traffic around the world and left companies waiting for raw materials. The state-owned freight enterprise, comprised of shipping, railways and other logistics, was forced to halt operations at container terminals in Durban, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. The company also placed many employees on leave. Transnet’s Durban port handles 60% of the nation’s shipments, including freight for other African nations.
Officials said in a statement: “Transnet, including Transnet Port Terminals, experienced an act of cyberattack, security intrusion and sabotage, which resulted in the disruption of TPT normal processes and functions or the destruction or damage of equipment or information.” Some services were restored b using limited, manual means. News outlet Fin24 reported that perishable food was stuck in containers and freight trucks, amid massive frustration among both importers and exporters in the peak period for citrus exports.
Key Takeaway: Cybercriminals took shots at the maritime and freight transportation/logistics sectors all year long, likely looking for quick ransom payments from companies that might have low security but needed to remain operational at all times, and they were frighteningly successful. That bodes ill for those sectors in 2022.