Tue, 21 Sep 2021

  • At the end of July - around the same time Transnet was hit by a cyberattack - local steel supplier Macsteel was also hit.
  • The company says no confidential information was affected during the attack, and its systems returned to normal within two business days.
  • Transnet operations suffered for a longer time, causing chaos at the ports.

Steel supplier Macsteel was last month hit by a cyberattack around the same time when Transnet port services were brought down by an attack to the firm's IT systems, the company confirmed to Fin24.

Macsteel did not give much details about the breach which it said occurred in late July, but confirmed its systems "returned back to normal" within two business days of the breach and no critical information was affected.

"There was no personal or confidential information compromised as a result of the attack."

The company, which supplies a variety of industrial companies, said its controls performed well to protect the integrity of information and systems and that it was investigating the source of the attack.

On 22 July, Transnet was hit by a "cyberattack, security intrusion and sabotage", according to the company, with its division Transnet Port Terminals being among the hardest hit. The hack disrupted normal processes and damaged equipment and information, culminating in the declaration of a force majeure at the ports' container terminals.

Insurance broker and risk advisor Marsh warned that ransomware attacks across the region were intensifying in both frequency and severity since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. In a ransomware attack, hackers lock access to data by encrypting the contents and demanding a payment from the company to have their data released.

The company said cyber criminals were increasingly targeting governments and healthcare organisations, with the downtime from ransomware averaging 16 days, causing huge financial costs associated with remediation.

"Cyber criminals view ransomware as a lucrative business and are shifting the focus of their attacks from privacy breach to ransomware, which offers the potential for securing larger payments," said Marsh Africa Chief executive Spiros Fatouros.

Source: News24

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