HMM boss convenes task force following Maersk cyber-attack

HMM CEO Yoo Chang-keun is heading up a task force in the wake of the Petya cyber-attack. Credit: Incheon Port Authority
HMM CEO Yoo Chang-keun is heading up a task force in the wake of the Petya cyber-attack. Credit: Incheon Port Authority

South Korean liner operator Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), which has been co-operating with Maersk Line, has set up a team to prepare countermeasures in the wake of the cyber-attack on the latter.

The taskforce is personally headed by HMM CEO Yoo Chang-keun. The heads of HMM’s overseas subsidiaries are also monitoring the situation.

An HMM official said, “First of all, some of our customers’ cargo is on Maersk’s ships, so we are checking to see if there is damage to it. There is no damage that has been brought to our attention yet.”

The attack from the Petya ransomware caused Maersk Line to serve quotes or book cargoes as the company shut down its IT and communications infrastructure.

HMM began working with the 2M alliance comprising Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co SA in March, commencing ‘2M+H’, a three-year arrangement that fell short of HMM joining the alliance.

While Maersk Line appears to be resuming its operations, things are not back to 100% yet.

The ransomware attack also caused terminals operated by Maersk Line’s terminal operating affiliate APM Terminals to suspend operations.

Maersk said in an industry advisory that all immediate vessel operations were continuing as planned and the majority of port calls would be made.

HMM is thus trying to determine the extent of the damage caused.

For example, MSC ships scheduled to arrive at the APM terminal in Los Angeles will be affected by the shutdown. It is believed that some of HMM’s cargoes were also loaded on this vessel.

The HMM official said, “The terminal operator will decide which alternative port the ships will go to.

“There is no ship belonging to HMM which is heading for a closed port. Our first priority to identify the damage caused to our cargoes on the ships of Maersk Line and MSC.”