Cyber-Attack Could Have “Devastating” Impact on Aussie Exports

One of Australia’s biggest port operators is slowly recovering from a “nationally significant” cyber-incident that struck late last week, potentially impacting imports and exports for weeks, according to reports.

DP World Australia was forced to close operations at its Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle facilities after the incident struck on Friday, according to the country’s national cyber security coordinator, Darren Goldie.

In an update on X (formerly Twitter) today, Goldie revealed that the port operator had begun to restart some operations, but cautioned about the longer term impact.

“Although port operations have resumed, it does not mean that this incident has concluded. The Australian government is continuing to work with DP World Australia to support the management of any further consequences, including any ongoing disruption to Australia’s supply chains,” he said.

“Investigations into the incident remain ongoing and remediation work is likely to continue for some time.”

That could have a serious impact on a provider said to handle around 40% of Australian imports and exports. During the weekend shutdown, ships could load and unload containers but trucks were not able to pick up or drop off the storage units, meaning they piled up on docks, according to the Australian Financial Review.

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Paul Zalai, director of the Freight and Trade Alliance, told The Guardian that the incident could have a “devastating impact” on its operators.

“We have heard from one of our members, who say DP World told them it’ll be another two weeks before accepting export cargo at (Sydney’s) Port Botany,” he’s reported as saying.

It’s still unclear what was the cause of the incident, although the report claimed that DP World Australia detected unauthorized access to its network and that some data had been stolen by threat actors before the operator pulled the plug.

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