The cyber attack on Maersk has the potential to throw global container supply chains
into chaos, according to Lars Jensen, chief executive of maritime cyber
security firm CyberKeel.
Mr Jensen told delegates at the TOC Europe Container Supply
Chain conference in Amsterdam today that the attack is likely to spread well
beyond Maersk, its terminal operating arm APM Terminals, and its customers.
According to his calculations, Maersk’s shipping lines – Maersk
Line itself, Safmarine, Seago, MCC Transport and Sealand – book 3,300 teu every
hour, representing some $2.7m in revenue per hour.
At the point of writing that equated to at least some 82,500 teu
and revenues of $67.5m – a combination of shipments caught up in ports and on
vessels, and likely lost bookings.
“But there are other shipping lines that have boxes on board
Maersk vessels – these will not be able to be unloaded; other lines use APM
Terminals’ facilities; and even the third party terminals that are unaffected
may well have piles of boxes on their facilities that will unable to be
cleared,” Mr Jensen said.
The number of shippers affected could amount to the tens of
“If this goes on much longer they will start to be trying to
book with other lines – but guess what, the shippers I spoke to today are being
told by other carriers that we have entered the peak season and there’s no
space on vessels,” he said.
Mr Jensen said the attack illustrated the inherent digital
weakness of the shipping industry.
“By no way does this imply that Maersk had insufficient security
– if someone wants to hack you they will find a way.
“What it does mean is that shipping needs to build resilience
into its digital products- it’s not about building a system and laying a
security system over the top, but building security up front when you begin to
develop a system, which I’m afraid is likely to cost more,” he said.