British shipping services firm Clarskon Plc on Tuesday revealed details of a cyber security incident that took place last year in which an unauthorized third party gained access to the company’s computer systems in the UK, copied data, and demanded ransom for its return.
Clarskons said it learned of the breach on November 7, 2017 and immediately took steps to respond, manage and investigate the incident.
Through a forensic investigation, it was revealed that an unauthorized third party had accessed certain Clarksons’ computer systems in the UK from May 31, 2017 until November 4, 2017, copied data, and demanded a ransom for its safe return.
The company said the unauthorized access was gained via a single isolated user account, which was immediately disabled upon discovery of the breach.
“As soon as the incident was discovered, Clarksons took steps to respond to and manage the incident, including launching an immediate investigation into the nature and scope of the event, notifying regulators, working with third party forensic investigators, and informing law enforcement,” Clarskons said.
User information compromised may include dates of birth, contact information, social security numbers, bank account information, and passport and payment card information, among other personal info, the company said.
Clarksons added that through the investigation and legal measures, it was able to trace and recover the copy of all data that was illegally stolen from its systems.
“While Clarksons were able to successfully trace and recover the copy of the data that was illegally copied from its systems, as a precautionary measure, Clarksons have also been working diligently, in cooperation with law enforcement and forensic investigators, to determine what data may have been involved. In an abundance of caution, Clarksons are notifying potentially affected individuals,” the company said.
The data breach is the latest in a growing list of cyber security incidents to hit the shipping industry.
Last year, the world’s largest container shipping company was temporarily paralyzed in a ransomware attack on its IT systems that was estimated to cost the company up to $300 billion. Last week, China’s COSCO Shipping had its computer networks in its Americas division hacked, forcing the line to shut down its regional networks across the globe as a precaution.