Research conducted has shown that a major cyberattack on Asia-Pacific trading ports could blow out to a hit to the world’s economy in the form of hundreds of billions of dollars.
That claim is according to a Singapore-based Cyber Risk Management unit called the CyRiM Project, however, the findings have also been backed by the University of Cambridge, Lloyd’s of London as well as a number of other organisations.
The project, according to InfoSecurity-Magazine’s Phil Muncaster “paints a hypothetical picture of a computer virus, dubbed ‘Shen,’ which exploits a vulnerability in port management software from a major shipping management company. It’s not made clear whether the virus is ransomware, but the effect is to infect systems on-board ageing ships, and then to ‘scramble’ key database records at major ports in the region.”
“The combination of ageing shipping infrastructure and global complex supply chains, makes the shipping industry vulnerable to extreme losses.”
The report states that “while cyber-attacks have impacted individual ports in the past, an attack on systematic vulnerabilities across ports on this scale has never been seen.”
“However, the combination of ageing shipping infrastructure and global complex supply chains, makes the shipping industry vulnerable to extreme losses,” the report goes on to explain. The damage in the aftermath of an attack impacting 15 ports in the Asia-Pacific region would cause anywhere between $41 to $110 billion, the report says.
“Cyber-risk is one of the most critical and complex challenges facing the Asia Pacific maritime industry today.” Angela Kelly
CyRiM also warned that there is a total insurance gap of $101-billion, considering that 92% of the potential economic costs are uninsured as it stands.
Angela Kelly, Lloyd’s Singapore country manager said in response to the report that “cyber-risk is one of the most critical and complex challenges facing the Asia Pacific maritime industry today. As this risk grows with the increasing application of technology and automation in the industry, collaboration and future planning by insurers and risk managers is critical,” she said.
“With nine out of 10 of the world’s busiest container ports based in Asia, and high levels of underinsurance in the region, this exposure must be addressed,” she concluded.