JNPT, India's largest container port, hit by cyber attack

Containers are piling up outside the port due to delay in loading and unloading at Gateway Terminals India. — Reuters

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.

"An unforeseen situation has developed at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Sheva owing to disruption in the operations of one of the private terminal operator, APM Maersk at JNPT". The JNPT port, which consists of three terminals, has a capacity to handle 4.5 million standard container units, and GTI Terminal has a 1.8 million TEU capacity. He said, "We have learnt that the Import General Manifesto server - the main business server - was under attack. We are hopeful that operations will normalize in a day", he said.

About 2,000 users had been attacked as of midday Tuesday in North America, according to Kaspersky Lab analysts, with organisations in Russian Federation and the Ukraine the most affected. "They are trying to work manually", a senior official was quoted as saying by PTI news agency.

Researchers said the attack may have borrowed malware code used in earlier ransomware campaigns known as "Petya" and "GoldenEye". "We are responding to the situation to contain and limit the impact and uphold operations".

Pipavav, which is also operated by APM Terminals, did not provide detail on the extent of the impact at its site, but a spokeswoman for APM said the port was "partially impacted".

It was said that a similar virus ransomware has been discovered and is called as "Petya".

The virus hit Danish shipping and energy company Maersk, in turn affecting its global operations. DLA Piper said in a statement it was hit by a suspected malware attack and that it was "taking steps to remedy the issue".

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The current attacks come weeks after the Wannacry ransomware attack, which impacted systems of many companies.

He said an emergency response team at the port was in touch with Microsoft to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Shipping Ministry also said, JNPT has opened up its parking lots for cargo destined to the private terminal. Further, CFS (container freight stations) have been advised to hold the cargo in their yards.

Meanwhile, the government sent National Cyber Security Advisor Gulshan Rai to Mumbai on Wednesday to closely monitor the situation. AP Moller-Maersk (APM), one of the affected entities globally, operates the GTI at JNPT.

Kremlin-controlled Rosneft, Russia's largest crude producer, said in a statement that it avoided "serious consequences" from the "hacker attack" by switching to "a backup system for managing production processes".

The Ministry said the JNPT was taking steps to ensure minimum disturbance to trade, transporters and local citizens.

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