Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk has confirmed that its IT systems are down due to a massive cyber attack called Petya that has hit major firms, airports and government departments across the globe.
Ukraine was the first country to be hit by the virus, which spread its way across Europe on Tuesday (June 27, 2017) afternoon.
It is believed to be ransomware — a piece of malicious software that shuts down a computer system and then demands an extortionate sum of money to fix the problem.
Danish media has reportedly said that the Maersk offices in Britain, Panama and Venezuela have been affected.
APM Terminals, Maersk's global terminal operating arm, has also been struck in ports in the US and Netherlands.
A Reddit user has claimed that APM Terminals' systems are “down” at the Port of New York and New Jersey in a comment on a picture (below) reportedly showing ransomware demanding bitcoin from an APM Terminals East Coast US port.
I arrived for work at the apm terminal on the west coast and was sent home due to this cyber attack. https://t.co/Bf2WSeHkD2
— SouthBay Jay (@SouthBayJay714) June 27, 2017
I see. I noticed today that APM terminals in Rotterdam had encountered some difficulties.
— morous-f (@sheatfish) June 27, 2017
The attack is similar to the WannaCry ransomware that targeted systems across the world in May.
Maersk stated on its website: “We can confirm that Maersk IT systems are down across multiple sites and business units due to a cyber attack. We continue to assess the situation.
“The safety of our employees, our operations and customer's business is our top priority. We will update when we have more information.”
A.P. Moller-Maersk is an integrated transport and logistics company and has the largest fleet of vessels in the container shipping sector. It also has a stand-alone energy division.
Port Technology has contacted Maersk and will continue to update the situation as it changes.
We can confirm that Maersk IT systems are down across multiple sites and business units. We are currently assessing the situation.
— Maersk (@Maersk) June 27, 2017