The Fall of Another Maritime Giant


CMA CGM Confirms Ransomware Attack

Like dominos falling in succession, the world’s 4th largest container transportation, and shipping firm, CMA CGM has become the latest casualty joining AP Moller-Maersk, MSC, and Chinese COSCO Shipping Lines on the growing list of Maritime cyber victims. The CMA CGM attack is a reminder to shipping operators of the very real threat and the danger posed by cybercriminals today.

What we know so far

The CMA CGM attack, at first reported as an “internal IT infrastructure issue” on September 28, 2020, was later confirmed to be indeed a ransomware attack. The attack affected the Marseille-based company’s peripheral servers as well as the infrastructure of their international offices including their Chinese and Australian branches.

Several websites linked to CMA CGM regional offices were down as the company tried to contain the spread of the malicious code. Following detection of the breach, CMA CGM cybersecurity teams moved to deactivate applications and an internal investigation of the incident has since been launched.

Who is behind the attack?

CMA CGM IT infrastructure was paralyzed by one of the most virulent malware on the market today – Ragnar Locker. This ransomware software is designed to encrypt data and to interfere with installed programs. It is known to attack devices that have Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Following the CMA CGM attack, a cautionary message appeared on computer screens that any attempt to decrypt files using any other software or to modify the encrypted data would result in damage to the files, a loss no company wants to imagine. CMA CGM was given 48 hours to negotiate a special fee for the decryption code.

Will CMA CGM agree to pay a ransom and if so, of how much? Earlier in the year, after also being hacked, travel management company CWT ended up settling and paying $4.5 million to the Ragner Locker hackers. So it remains to be seen what CMA CGM will do.

How maritime companies can protect themselves

Discussing the growing cybercrime, the Global Head of Information Security for French banking giant Société Générale, Stephane Nappo says, “Even the bravest cyber defense will experience defeat when weaknesses are neglected.”

Cybeta is a leading Maritime cybersecurity partner that can help you plug the leaks in your current defense strategy. As you strengthen your security features consider taking out insurance as well.

Get started with next-generation cybersecurity solutions

Does this CMA CGM attack have you worried? Sit down and discuss cybersecurity solutions built by U.S. intelligence-trained experts today. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our certified advisors to talk about your Maritime business and review your security goals.