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port of melbourne. June 2, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas/Files

Shipping containers and cranes are seen at a port holding yard in Melbourne in this June 2, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas/Files

Australia Says Ports Operator Cyber Incident ‘Serious’

Reuters
Total Views: 2774
November 12, 2023

SYDNEY, Nov 12 (Reuters) – The Australian government on Sunday described as “serious and ongoing” a cybersecurity incident that forced ports operator DP World Australia to suspend operations at ports in several states since Friday.

DP World Australia, which manages nearly half of the goods that flow in and out of the country, said it was looking into possible data breaches as well as testing systems “crucial for the resumption of normal operations and regular freight movement”. 

The breach halted operations at the containers terminals in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Western Australia’s Fremantle since Friday.

The cyber incident at DP World is serious and ongoing,” Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

A DP World spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on when normal operations would resume. The company, part of Dubai’s state-owned DP World, is one of a handful of stevedore industry players in the country.

The Australian Federal Police said they were investigating the incident, but declined to elaborate.

Late on Saturday, the National Cyber Security Coordinator Darren Goldie, appointed this year in response to several major data breaches, said the “interruption” was “likely to continue for a number of days and will impact the movement of goods into and out of the country”.

In the Asia-Pacific region, DP World says it employs more than 7,000 people and has ports and terminals in 18 locations. 

(Reporting by Sam McKeith in Sydney; Editing by David Gregorio, Robert Birsel and Miral Fahmy)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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