Australia declares nationally significant cyber incident after port attack!

Australia’s biggest ports operator, which has been the target of a cyber-attack, has begun gradually restarting its operations, but key exports could be subject to prolonged delays. DP World Australia closed its Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle port operations after detecting the breach on Friday, leaving cargo and containers stuck on the docks.

The company disconnected its internet, which stopped ongoing unauthorised access to its network. This also resulted in key systems linked to its port operations not functioning normally. The nature of the outage has not been divulged and the National Cyber Security Coordinator has promised restoring services is the priority, with attribution a task for another day. On Sunday DP World advised that interruptions will stretch for a number of days, rather than weeks.

The government has not yet identified the perpetrators of the cyber attack, which caused the firm to disconnect its ports from the internet. DP World said it halted internet connectivity at its ports on Friday to prevent any ongoing unauthorised access to its network. Going offline meant trucks had been unable to transport containers in and out of the affected sites. The resumption of service on Monday is the first step towards tackling the attack on its network. DP World said it was still in the process of investigating the disruption and guarding its systems against cyber attacks.

Australia has seen a rise in cyber attacks since late 2022. Earlier this year, the Albanese government announced plans to overhaul its cybersecurity laws, and set up an agency to coordinate responses to intrusions. The government is expected to release details on its proposed rules next week which will likely tighten reporting requirements for companies.