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India's largest container port hit by global cyber attack

28 June 2017

"It has been informed by the private terminal operator (APM Maersk) that this disruption is a outcome of a worldwide disruption being faced by them because of a cyber attack", the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement today.

"We have contained the issue and are working on a technical recovery plan with key IT partners and global cyber security agencies", Maersk said in a stock exchange announcement.

While the terminal operator is taking steps to address the issue, it is anticipated that there could be bunching of in-bound and out-bound container cargo, it said.

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Maersk Line vessels are manoeuvrable, able to communicate and crews are safe, while port unit APM Terminals has been impacted in a number of ports, it said. "We are hopeful that operations will normalise in a day", he said.

Some technology experts said the attack appeared consistent with an "updated variant" of a virus known as Petya or Petrwrap, a ransomware that locks computer files and forces users to pay a designated sum to regain access.

A senior JNPT official told the media, "We have been informed that the operations at GTI have come to a standstill because their systems are down (due to the malware attack)".

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The official explained that JNPT is trying to help the company, but there is little that others can do as the problem is with the systems. The European company also operates Pipavav terminal in the western state of Gujarat. The safety of our employees, our operation and our customers businesses is our top priority.

The current attacks came weeks after malware named Wanna Cry Ransomware affected systems across the globe, taking down computer systems, locking up critical data and demanding bitcoins as ransom for its release. Companies that affected today include Russia's biggest oil company Rosneft, global advertising giant WPP Group and multiple institutions in Ukraine including its central bank and an worldwide airport.

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India's largest container port hit by global cyber attack