Shipping has been warned to be on high alert for all sorts of cyber attacks as the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its third week.
Google’s Threat Analysis Group has said it has seen Russian and Belarusian hackers engaging in espionage, phishing campaigns and other attacks targeting Ukraine and its allies in recent weeks.
Cyber attacks on businesses and government agencies have increased following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the risk of spillover cyber attacks against non-primary targets becoming much more widespread. Heightened risk exists particularly for parties who hail from countries involved in anti-Russian sanctions, a recent report from Fitch Ratings stated.
Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Wednesday that the government plans to retaliate against the countries that ban Russian ships from entering their ports. The prime minister did not specify how the government would retaliate.
The 2017 NotPetya attack is an example of a cyber attack that underscores the spillover risk to entities outside of Ukraine. That attack initially targeted Ukrainian government and financial entities but ultimately affected computer systems across the globe, costing billions of dollars in damages, not least to mighty Maersk, then the world’s largest containerline.
In addition, non-government Russian hackers have been linked to several hacking schemes in past years, including the debilitating 2021 ransomware hack of the Colonial pipeline in the US.
“The risk of Russian cyber attacks on critical infrastructure is indeed higher as a consequence of the Russian invasion, and is something various cyber agencies in US, UK, Canada, Denmark and others have warned about over the past month,” cyber security expert Lars Jensen told Splash today.
Outlining the severity of the threat posed, France’s largest bank BNP Paribas has cut off its Russia-based workforce from its internal computer systems as it seeks to bolster its defences against any potential cyber attack, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
For all the news on how the invasion of Ukraine is affecting global shipping, check out Splash’s dedicated coverage here.