“This has also resulted in key systems which underpin operations at their Australian ports not functioning normally.
“This was necessary to contain the incident and minimise the impact on their employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.”
The stevedore said it was collaborating closely with government and private sector stakeholders to ensure “sensitive inbound freight can be prioritised and retrieved”.
“The company is working around the clock to restore normal operations safely.”
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said in a statement that the government was receiving regular briefings and “working with DP World Australia to understand the impacts of this incident”.
She said the Australian Cyber Security Centre was leading the operation to manage the incident and providing technical advice and assistance to DP World.
Inter-government agency the National Coordination Mechanism met on Saturday to coordinate a response.
National Cybersecurity Coordinator Air Marshal Darren Goldie said he had co-chaired the meeting with the National Emergency Management Agency and his office had been engaged since Friday evening, when it was notified.
He said “this interruption is likely to continue for a number of days and will impact the movement of goods into and out of the country”.
“The Australian Signals Directorate’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is engaged with DP World Australia and is providing technical advice and assistance,” he said.
“The Australian Federal Police has commenced investigations into the incident.
“I intend to convene the National Coordination Mechanism again tomorrow, together with NEMA, and continue to meet with DP World Australia over the coming days as this unfolds.”
Early Saturday morning, DP World said that “to safeguard our employees, customers and our networks, we have restricted landside access to our Australian port operations while we continue our investigation”.
The disruption comes as the company is also facing two months of ongoing industrial action by the Maritime Union of Australia, including work stoppages and bans on loading and unloading trucks.
The strike has led to more than a week of delays for shipping vessels, which have started skipping ports in response and leaving goods in other states.
The cybersecurity incident follows another hack at Melbourne-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Coinspot on Thursday, with more than $2 million drained from accounts.
It also comes just two days after Optus suffered a national outage that caused widespread disruption across the economy.