IMO and CMA CGM battle to get systems back online

IT experts continue to contain the fallout from cyber attacks to shipping’s top regulator as well as France’s number one shipping line.

In the fifth day since CMA CGM’s IT infrastructure was hit hard by a ransomware attack, the company’s eBusiness website is still suspended, with clients urged to use booking platform INTTRA or to fill out a manual booking form.

CMA CGM has been providing limited updates on the cyber attack, the last being on September 30. It has admitted it might have suffered a cyber breach. It becomes the latest liner to suffer a cyber attack, following the likes of MSC, Cosco and most high profile of all, Maersk.

Renowned container shipping expert Lars Jensen, writing on LinkedIn today, contrasted the CMA CGM incident with Maersk’s IT fallout in 2017.

“It should be kept in mind that in the case of Maersk, online bookings mostly resumed after 8 days and most of the networks and applications was restored after some 4-5 weeks. Once Maersk was back on their feet, they were active in providing information explaining not only what had happened technically but also what lessons were learned in terms of business contingency plans in order to allow other companies to be better prepared in the future,” Jensen wrote, adding that he hoped CMA CGM would do similar in order to increase the industry’s preparedness for such attacks.

Meanwhile, the IMO’s website remains down as of 10.00hrs GMT, with a spokesperson telling Splash that there has been no change since yesterday when IMO revealed it has been the victim of a “sophisticated” cyber attack.

“We are continuing to work to restore the systems that are down,” a spokesperson said. The IMO’s website has been down since Wednesday although some of the documents sections of the site has since been restored.

There are now just 91 days until IMO’s cyber resilience rules come into effect for all merchant ships, a significant piece of legislation that is in sharp focus given this week’s IT attacks.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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