James Fisher and Sons Hit by Cyberattack

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Published Nov 5, 2019 3:56 PM by The Maritime Executive

UK-based marine services provider James Fisher and Sons (JFS) informed investors on Tuesday that its computer systems have suffered an unauthorized intrusion. The company said that as a precaution, it has taken all affected systems offline in order to contain the scope of the incident. 

To restore service, determine the cause and scope of the intrusion and manage any impacts, JFS has appointed external cybersecurity experts with experience in cyber forensics. The firm is now working on safe recovery of its systems and applications using its disaster recovery backup, and it aims to minimize the effects of the intrusion by completing the restoration as soon as possible. 

JFS says that it has notified the authorities in the UK and, where required, it is currently notifying regulators and agencies in other national jurisdictions. In its statement, the firm did not discuss whether the attackers had stolen data. 

James Fisher and Sons is a diversified equipment and services provider for the marine, offshore oil and gas, offshore wind, ports, defense, nuclear power and construction sectors. It is not the first large and well-known maritime firm to suffer a significant cyber breach: business networks at Maersk's container shipping and container terminal divisions were hit hard by the "NotPetya" cyberattack in 2017, leading to a month of impaired operations at sites around the world and an estimated financial impact of about $250-300 million. 

Last year, Cosco's North American operations were hit by a cyberattack that temporarily took out portions of its business networks and digital communications channels, including email and electronic data exchange. For a brief period, the company's U.S. staff relied upon Yahoo! Mail accounts to keep in touch with clients and arrange bookings.