Shipping company MSC may have become the victim of a cyber attack. The website and customer platform of the second largest container carrier in the world has been offline since Thursday.

In a statement, MSC states that a network in one of Geneva’s data centres has failed, ‘affecting the availability of some digital tools’. The exact cause of the problems is not entirely clear at this stage. However, the company does not rule out a malware attack.

Different systems

Although the problems are still unresolved, the company stresses that the services and operations of the shipping company will continue as usual. MSC states that it uses different IT systems to separate the head office from the rest of the agencies’ network, so that in the event of such a problem, not all operations are immediately stopped.

Screenshot of MSC website (text continues below image).

‘In this case, the problem is limited to one of our data centres in Geneva, which only performs some of the internal data processes of and MyMSC. All other business units continue to operate on a global basis.’

Petya attack on Maersk

With this, the Swiss shipping company seems to have learned from its competitor Maersk. In 2017, the so-called Petya attack shut down approximately all of Maersk’s terminal operations for weeks. That attack cost the company 300 million dollars in direct damage. In addition, the group had to replace almost its entire IT system, among other things.

This article first appeared (in Dutch) on Nieuwsblad Transport, a sister publication of SWZ|Maritime.