South African container terminal operator Transnet has identified the source of a cyber attack on IT infrastructure and is tacking the issue
A combination of a cyber attack on IT infrastructure and bad weather had halted container terminal operations in South Africa.
Transnet is trying to return operations to normal following this cyber incident on its IT systems on 22 July that shut down some of its digital processes.
It has found the source of the issue and is fixing the problem as container terminal operators are forced to use manual processes with conventional pens and paper instead.
"Transnet has identified and isolated the source of the disruption on its IT systems, and technical teams continue to work around the clock to ensure that the impact remains minimal," the logistics group said in a statement.
Operations at Richards Bay, Eastern Cape, the East London and PE Container and Auto Terminals continue manually as some IT, digital and web-based systems remain closed.
Over the weekend, Transnet’s Ngqura and Cape Town container terminals were also affected by high swells preventing ships from entering these ports.
On 23 July, Transnet said in a statement its container terminal operations were affected by disruptions to its IT systems and its experts were trying to identity the source of the problem.
IT intrusions have affected the Navis system in container terminals, particularly on the trucking side, forcing operators to use manual back-up systems. But Transnet’s freight rail, pipeline, engineering and property divisions reported normal activity.
Operations at the Eastern Cape terminal were also affected by meteorological issues. “Operations have been halted due to inclement weather conditions and will continue manually once it is safe to do so,” said Transnet.
In other ports, ships are able to dock at quaysides and be unloaded and loaded despite the IT issues. “The Ports Authority continues to operate, and vessels moving in and out of the ports are being recorded manually,” said Transnet. “Customers have been made aware of the disruption and are being engaged throughout the process.”
However, Cape Town Harbour Carriers Association said in an email to members, seen by Reuters, “Please note that the port operating systems have been cyber-attacked and there will be no movement of cargo until the system is restored.”
Transnet said it was attempting to remedy the IT issues and return port operations to normal. “Work is underway to reduce the downtime to ensure the impacted systems are up and running again as soon as possible,” it said.
Operations in the Port of Durban and Richards Bay had returned to normal levels this week following disruption due to civil unrest in the previous week. Transnet said employees were working through a backlog when the IT issues struck.
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