Cyber attack could cost APAC ports US$110bn

cyber attack The report shows the global economy is underprepared for a massive cyber attack. Image: Pixabay

A new report estimates that losses of up to US$110bn would occur in an “extreme” cyber-attack scenario involving Asia-Pacific (APAC) ports.

The Cyber Risk Management (CyRiM) project report explores a hypothetical cyber-attack on major ports across APAC, in which a computer virus infects 15 ports. The report also shows the global economy is underprepared for such an attack, with 92% of the total economic costs uninsured, leaving an insurance gap of US$101bn.

'Shen attack’ depicts a plausible scenario in which an attack is launched via a computer virus carried by ships, which then scrambles the cargo database records at major ports and leads to “severe disruption”, explained the report from CyRiM project, the Singapore-based public-private initiative that assesses cyber risks, of which Lloyd’s of London is one of the founding members.

Substantial economic damage

The report shows how an attack of this scale would cause substantial economic damage to a wide range of business sectors globally due to the interconnectivity of the maritime supply chain.

The scenario estimates that transportation, aviation and aerospace sectors would be the most affected (US$28.2bn of economic losses in total), followed by manufacturing (US$23.6bn) and retail US($18.5bn).

Productivity losses affect each country that has bilateral trade with the attacked ports. “Asia would be the worst affected region,” set to lose up to US$27bn in indirect economic losses, followed by $623m in Europe and $266m in North America, stated the report.

The Port of San Diego, Port of Barcelona, Cosco Shipping Lines and APM Terminals are amongst maritime organisations which have suffered cyber attacks

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