Maersk adds extra layers of IT protection in the wake of Petya attack

Maersk has added extra layers of IT protection in the wake of the Petya ransomware attack that hit it very hard three and a half weeks ago.

“This virus attack was a previously unseen type of malware, and updates and patches applied to both the Windows systems and our antivirus (program) were not an effective protection in this particular case,” Maersk said in a statement.

“In response to this new type of malware, we have put in place different and further protective measures,” it added.

Maersk added that it had seen no known data breach or data loss to third-parties from the attack in late June. Moreover, the virus had not spread between networks or across the internet, it said.

Maersk was one of the most high profile corporate victims of the Petya attack, becoming by some distance the hardest hit of any shipping line from a cyber attack to date. It does not expect to get fully back to normal business operations until next week, around one month on from the moment Petya plunged the Danish conglomerate into chaos.

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.


  1. The Petya malware variant was new and not immediately recognized by many anti-virus programs. However, the method of propagation that allowed one infected machine to infect other vulnerable Windows-based computers was well known in the IT community. Windows patches that fix the underlying vulnerability were available from Microsoft since March 2017. This infection method first came to light during the WannaCry malware outbreak in May, which was much more wide spread than Petya, and prompted many organizations to verify that their Windows patches were up to date. Maersk’s public statement isn’t inaccurate but it does suggest that their Windows patching wasn’t current, despite the wake-up call in May from WannaCry.

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