Container Line CMA CGM Hit by Cyberattack

The shipping giant shuts down some networks in Asia to isolate what appears to be a ransomware attack

French container shipping line CMA CGM SA said Monday it has shut down some of its technology systems as it copes with a cyberattack at two of its Asia-Pacific subsidiaries.

People involved in the matter said the carrier was investigating an encryption malware attack and that it had been contacted by someone claiming to be a hacker who asked for ransom in return for a decryption key.

“CMA CGM is currently dealing with a cyber-attack impacting peripheral servers,” the company said in a statement. “As soon as the security breach was detected, external access to applications was interrupted to prevent the malware from spreading.”

The company said it was bringing back online parts of its network that include booking platforms after isolating the systems directly affected by the attack.

CMA CGM is the world’s fourth-largest container carrier by capacity, according to maritime research group Alphaliiner, with more than 500 vessels.

The company said in a customer advisory that systems at its intra-Asia arm Cheng Lie Navigation Co. and the regional Australian National Line were unavailable. The websites for both operators were down on Monday.

The apparent attack follows a series of breaches of technology networks in container shipping in recent years.

Denmark’s Maersk Line, the shipping unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S that is the world’s biggest container operator, was hit by the global NotPetya ransomware attack in 2017 that crippled the carrier’s operations for a time and the carrier spent $300 million to repair the damage.

Chinese container line Cosco Shipping Holdings Co. was hit in July 2018 by a cyberattack that shut some of its technology systems in the U.S., and Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Co. suffered a network outage earlier this year that was believed to be the result of a cyberattack.

The International Maritime Organization, the United Nations body that regulates the global shipping industry, has written guidelines for tougher cybersecurity defenses for ports and vessel operators that are set to take effect in January 2021.

Interview with Lijihas Ussain ( Liji ), Director of Magzi Shipping & Logistics Services LLC

JCtrans: Would you please make a brief introduction of your company?

Lijihas Ussain ( Liji ): Magzi Shipping & Logistics Services LLC was established with a vision to provide high standard and cost effective freight forwarding/logistics solutions to the companies regardless of their institution size or financial strength. With 12 years in operations, we have gained expertise to handle cargos of varying complexities through both air and sea; and also build trusted relation with shipping lines and agents. Currently, we are having customers from a variety of instustries and handles goods from perishable cargo, medicines to oil field equipment. We are committed to providing tailor made freight forwarding solutions to our customers.

JCtrans: Would you please talk about your core-competitiveness?

Lijihas Ussain ( Liji ): We offer best in class services in LCL, FCL, Air Freight, Warehousing, High Value/Precious metals cargos and Event/Exhibition Logistics. Well versed in handling OOG, DGR, and Heavy Lift project cargos. With offices and operations in Sohar Port, Muscat Port, Duqm Port and Salalah Port, we are capable of handling Pan-Oman customers and provide them with unparalleled shipping services.

JCtrans: What do you think is the most important thing to run a logistics company?

Lijihas Ussain ( Liji ): The most important thing to run a logistics company is to understand that every customer requirement is unique. No two customer or their shipping requirements are identical. Hence, a logistic company should understand and find tailor made solutions to the customer requirements. These solutions must be cost effective and without delays. Another important thing is the relationship one must make with the customer, such updating the shipment status from time to time. Saving them from unnecessary shipping cost such as demurrage, late fee or amendment fees. We also understand that, to remain relevant in the industry we must aggressively expand our client base.

JCtrans: Would you please talk about the situation of logistic industry in your country?

Lijihas Ussain ( Liji ): COVID-19 has affected the country for a while but with meticulous planning and prevention, things are getting back to normal. It is assumed that the logistics sector will be at full swing in few months time.

JCtrans: Would you please talk about your strategy to explore foreign market?

Lijihas Ussain ( Liji ): To explore foreign markets, we are in continuous touch with JC Trans members from various countries. We are giving them nominations and receiving a few from them as well. With ongoing foreign investments in Oman, companies with international ties are emerging, we are trying to partner them with shipping solutions to expand our reach. On top of it, we are attending annual meetings with foreign clients and agents.

JCtrans: What is the reason that makes you become a GCP member to develop your business?

Lijihas Ussain ( Liji ): The professionalism, network quality and world-wide reach of JC Trans are the main reasons that attracts us. To simply put, we trust, even an unheard agent if he is a JC Trans member. The network members are efficient and prompt. Their rates and services are competitive and best in class. We look forward to continue this relationship and help each other out to develop business.

JCtrans: How do you maintain a long-term cooperation relationship with your clients?

Lijihas Ussain ( Liji ): We believe customer satisfaction is the corner stone for the success of any business. We do follow-ups and visits on a regular basis, provides them with timely updates of new rates and services offered. Most importantly we provide the most affordable prices to our customers, because we believe pricing is very important in this situation as the competition has increased.

Led by highly trained and motivated senior management team with 40 years of experience in shipping and logistics industry