Australia ports operator latest target of cyber-attack

The Australian government has described as “serious and ongoing” the latest high profile cyber-attack that has forced ports operator DP World Australia to suspend operations at ports in several states.

The incident is the latest in a sting of major cyber incidents which have targeted major Australian corporates in recent months, leading the government to increase its risk management capabilities, recently striking a deal with Microsoft for the development of a ‘cyber shield’.

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.

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 are investigating the incident.

National Cyber Security Coordinator Darren Goldie 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.