Ports operator DP World yesterday said that it had made “significant strides” toward resuming normal freight trade at major gateways into Australia, which have been crippled for two days by a cybersecurity incident.
Government agencies held crisis talks over the weekend in response to what Australian Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security Clare O’Neil described as a “serious and ongoing” breach that has disrupted operations at key ports.
“DP World manages almost 40 percent of the goods flowing in and out of our country,” she wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
The port operator halted Internet connectivity at its terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle on Friday to prevent “any ongoing unauthorized access” to its network, a company spokesperson said.
The disruption has not prevented containers from being taken off vessels, but trucks needed to transport them have not been able to drive in or out of the terminals, DP World senior director Blake Tierney said.
The company had made “significant strides” working with cybersecurity experts and was testing key systems “crucial for the resumption of regular freight movement,” Tierney said in a statement.
It was seeking to restore normal operations “as quickly and safely as possible,” and was investigating “the nature of data access and data theft,” he added.
“DP World Australia is working hard to assess whether any personal information has been impacted,” Tierney said.
Australian Federal Police have said they are investigating the incident.
Australian National Cyber Security Coordinator Darren Goldie yesterday wrote on X that the company has told the government any disruption to port operations is “likely to be a number of days, rather than weeks.”
Despite the disruption, the port operator is able to “access sensitive freight if necessary — for example, in a medical emergency,” Goldie said.
After emergency meetings on Saturday, Goldie again convened the Australian National Coordination Mechanism yesterday with representatives from government, maritime and logistics sectors to manage the government’s response.
The Australian National Emergency Management Agency also attended the talks.
Goldie, an air marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force, was appointed the inaugural national coordinator on July 3 in response to several cyberattacks.
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