NZ takes WannaCry threat seriously

15 May 2017
Cyber prevention: Lyttelton Port has scheduled an urgent systems outage in the wake of the WannaCry attack

Cyber prevention: Lyttelton Port has scheduled an urgent systems outage in the wake of the WannaCry attack

Some ports are sitting up and taking notice of the massive global ransomware attack known as ‘WannaCry’ in a bid to safeguard their operations.

New Zealand’s Lyttelton Port has scheduled what it calls “an unavoidable urgent systems outage” in a bid to safeguard port systems that it said will affect both the container terminal and its inland ports and depots.

In an online statement, the port said: “It is vital our IT department put measures in place to limit the risk of attack to our IT systems. [The outage] will allow the port to apply the required security measures necessary to respond to this threat that is affecting systems worldwide.”

The port’s IT outage will commence Tuesday 16 May at 2300hrs (GMT +12) until 0700 hrs Wednesday 17 May 2017 at 0700hrs (GMT +12).

During this time, operations will be temporarily suspended and there will be no R&D. The outage will also affect use of the N4 Export Pre-advise system. There are also no shipping services scheduled to be worked during this period.

WannaCry has affected around 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries. The virus takes control of files and then demands payment to restore access.

In the UK, the state run NHS health system was drastically affected by the cyber-attack with patient records reportedly being compromised.

Among the other organisations targeted worldwide include Germany's rail network Deutsche Bahn, Spanish telecommunications operator Telefonica, US logistics giant FedEx and Russia's interior ministry.

Global insurance broking and risk management specialist, Marsh, said that cyber risk management should be a fundamental important component of a port or terminal’s risk mitigation and response strategy.

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