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MSC website down, carrier admits it might have been hit by malware

Seventeen hours after its IT system went down Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) finally said this afternoon that it might have been the victim of a malware attack. 

The website of the world’s second largest container line went dead sometime just before midnight on Thursday with the carrier stating more than 12 hours later that it had suffered an outage at one of its data centres.

“At this point in time we cannot rule out entirely the possibility of a malware,” the company told Splash this afternoon. 

“Mail services are still working and MSC has an IT infrastructure where many services are locally operated and hence it is unclear presently which exact IT tools are operational and which are not,” container shipping and cyber security expert Lars Jensen commented on LinkedIn today. 

This marks the first time a top five carrier’s website has been down for such a lengthy period since Maersk was hit by a cyber attack nearly three years ago. It comes days after Diego Aponte, group president and CEO of MSC, told clients in a rare public statement that the carrier was upping its online capabilities to handle more internet business during the coronavirus lockdown.

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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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