Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, the billion-dollar German logistics giant operating internationally in over 173 countries and offering services for sea freight, road and rail transportation, has reported it is the victim of a dedicated cyberattack.

Response to an attack by malicious operators

In a recent statement, Hellmann confirmed it had been subject to a cyberattack that had significant consequences. The logistics giant admitted that the attack had forced it to remove all open connections accessing its central data centre, albeit temporarily. Hellman commented that the vital security manoeuvre had an adverse impact on its business operations.

The cyberattack was initially reported in the freight trade press by Air Cargo News, which reported that last year, the German company had recorded revenue of close to $3 billion. Following the report, Hellmann made a statement that explained that while its own dedicated Global Crisis Taskforce had discovered the cyberattack, it had enlisted the aid of external cybersecurity experts to assist it with responding to the disruptive incident.

The Hellmann statement commented:

“Operations will be restored step by step, with the security and integrity of the systems as the top priority.”

However, the logistics enterprise did not provide details on what type of attack was aimed at it, or whether a ransomware assault was currently underway on its systems.

The impact of cyberattack in the logistic sector

According to a statement by Shared Assets’ Steering Committee Chair for North America, Nasser Fattah, this is an especially inconvenient time for an international logistics firm providing services across the world such as Hellmann to experience a cyberattack, based on the part it plays within the world’s supply chain. He commented:

“Today, the movement of goods is a global process that requires a concerted effort because the supply chain may include transportation, shipping, receiving, storage, and management of goods. The slightest kink in the chain can cause the business to suffer simply because of untimely deliveries. And businesses know that implementing seamless logistics is essential to keep pace with customer demands and remain competitive.”

Cybercriminal campaigns often select victims based on how tolerant their operations will be to disruption and delay. Enterprises like logistics firms and other companies involved in extensive supply chains make ideal targets for this reason.

While creating chaos and disruptive disorder are sometimes the sole reason behind attacks, often, the motives of malicious operators are financial. Ransomware operators will often block a business’ access to essential systems and data by encrypting them, while a Dedicated Denial of Service (DDoS) attack can knock their network offline. In both circumstances, a company may not be able to provide its clients and customers with services breaking agreements.

Ransomware operators use these chaotic circumstances to create a situation in which enterprises are more likely to give in to their financial demands. When attacks involve malicious software, sometimes companies must shut down their systems immediately to avoid other parts of their network being impacted and sensitive data being stolen. A remediation strategy can then be installed to safeguard operations against infection.

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