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A cyberattack on a Norwegian shipping services firm hit about 70 shipping companies.

One of the world’s top ship-classification firms has suffered a massive ransomware cyberattack, according to a report from Bloomberg. The attack was carried out on January 7 and targeted Oslo-based DNV, a company that provides consulting and advisory services to 12,000 ships and mobile offshore units. The company operates 350 offices in more than 100 countries.

DNV disclosed the attack in a statement that explained what part of its systems were hit. It seems the company’s dedicated ShipManager servers were affected. ShipManager is a fleet management software system that allows DNV shipping customers to monitor operational, technical and compliance features of a shipping fleet. It’s used by more than 7,000 vessels owned by 300 customers, according to the DNV website.

The DNV statement confirmed that about 70 customers operating around 1000 vessels have been affected. “All affected customers have been advised to consider relevant mitigating measures depending on the types of data they have uploaded to the system”, the company said.

ShipManager includes a wide array of eight different modules, but the company did not spell out exactly which services were disrupted. The statement only said: “There are no indications that any other data or servers by DNV are affected. The server outage does not impact any other DNV services”.

DNV spokesperson Margrethe Andersen told TechCrunch that all impacted vessels can still use the onboard offline functionalities of ShipManager. “The cyberattack does not affect the vessels’ ability to operate”, Andersen said.

Shipping has a higher threat profile

Cyberthreats are not new to the wider maritime shipping and logistics industries, but Bloomberg points out that the DNV incident comes at a time when supply lines are stretched due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, various sanctions have caused disruptions and re-calibrations of global trade.

This has brought greater scrutiny of such risks, according to the article. Global shipping and trade hubs such as the Port of Lisbon and the City of Antwerp have been struck recently by ransomware attackers.