There are many facets to supply chain risk, and one such facet is the threat of cyberattacks disrupting global supply chain operations and compromising data.

Today, global news wires are abuzz regarding a spreading cyberattack that is spreading from Europe to other countries including the United States. Reports indicate that this attack has similarities to the recent WannaCity ransomware virus that struck in May but is likely a new variation that exploits vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system.

The attacks included widespread outages across the country of Ukraine, and spread across at least nine other European countries and into the United States, crippling thousands of systems. Computer experts are still attempting to figure out the components to this latest hack as well scrambling in efforts to ward-off continued attacks.

One multi industry supply chain area that has been affected is that of A.P. Moeller Maersk, operators of Maersk Line, one of the globe’s largest ocean container shipping firms. Maersk has confirmed that many of its IT systems are not operating and that multiple sites and business units have been temporarily shut down due to the cyberattack outage. Reports indicate that 17 shipping container terminals run by APM Terminals, a Maersk subsidiary, have been hacked including the Port of Rotterdam, one of the busiest ports in the world. The web site of the Port of New York and New Jersey has been alerting shipping concerns that the APM terminal there has also experienced a systems outage and operations are suspended for the remainder of today.

Among U.S. resident companies confirming computer outages thus far are Merck and Mondelez International. Both have confirmed via Twitter that they are experiencing systems outages.

We suspect there are other outages and disruptions affecting the movement of materials and goods but it’s too early to assess the extent or duration.

Industry supply chain teams are advised to keep-up with ongoing reports and collaborate with associated IT support teams to strengthen systems defenses.

 

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