Hacking attack in Port of Barcelona

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Maritime operations were not compromised

On the morning of September 20, Port of Barcelona was victim of a cyberattack, as reported by experts in ethical hacking from the International Institute of Cyber Security; fortunately, maritime operations were not affected by the incident, as the Port administration had a plan to respond to these kinds of contingencies.

To date, technical details about the cyberattack have not been publicly disclosed, but it’s known that the attackers hit several servers in the port’s security infrastructure, without interrupting their maritime operations. Likewise, land operations, such as reception and delivery, seem to have suffered no problems due to the attack.

The organization’s ethical hacking specialists posted updates on the situation via Port of Barcelona Twitter account: “Early this morning Port of Barcelona suffered a cyber attack that affected several of its servers. Our Information Systems Department is evaluating the scope of the attack and applying its contingency plans for the situation”.

“The Systems Department of Port of Barcelona continues to work to recover the functionalities that have been affected by the cyberattack happened this morning”.

The Information Systems Department immediately began an investigation into the incident and is implementing additional measures to block possible attacks and minimize the effects it might cause”.

By reviewing Port de Barcelona’s Twitter account, experts in ethical hacking noticed this: two days before the attack, their operators had warned of the effects of a possible cyber attack on the organization’s security infrastructure: “No one is except for a cyberattack; Not even the ports. In Port of Barcelona we review the challenges of implementing a cybersecurity system in a port”.

Similarly, just a few days ago, the Port of Barcelona systems and projects manager, Cristian Medrano, had declared that no one is immune to cyberattacks, which seems a warning or prophecy about what was about to happen.

This is not the first time that a maritime operations organization suffers a similar attack. Last August, British shipping company Clarksons was hacked, sensitive information from the firm was subtracted and the attackers demanded a payment for its return. Similarly, China’s maritime company COSCO suffered a ransomware attack just a couple of months ago.