Shipping firm Clarksons braces for data leak after refusing to pay hacker
Shipping company Clarksons is bracing for a tranche of private data to be released, after refusing to pay a ransom to a hacker who staged a “criminal attack” on its computer systems.
In a statement to the stock market, the world’s largest shipbroker said it was working with specialist police and contacting customers who may have been affected after a “cybersecurity incident”.
“As soon as it was discovered, Clarksons took immediate steps to respond to and manage the incident,” the company said.
“Our initial investigations have shown the unauthorised access was gained via a single and isolated user account which has now been disabled.”
“Today, the person or persons behind the incident may release some data.”
Shares in Clarksons fell by more than 2% after the announcement, despite the company’s insistence that the hack would not affect its ability to do business.
The shipbroker arranges charter ships to transport goods, as well as helping shipping companies raise finance and providing services such as logistics and equipment.
Andi Case, the Clarksons chief executive, said: “Issues of cybersecurity are at the forefront of many business agendas in today’s digital and commercial landscape, and despite our extensive efforts we have suffered this criminal attack.
“As you would rightly expect, we’re working closely with specialist police teams and data security experts to do all we can to best understand the incident and what we can do to protect our clients now and in the future.
“We hope that, in time, we can share the lessons learned with our clients to help stop them from becoming victims themselves.
“In the meantime, I hope our clients understand that we would not be held to ransom by criminals, and I would like to sincerely apologise for any concern this incident may have understandably raised.”
“Clarksons would like to apologise to shareholders, clients and staff for any concerns this incident may raise,” the company said.
Since being hacked, Clarksons said it has consulted data security experts and is investing “heavily” to shore up its defences, amid a broader cybersecurity review.
the cyber-attack comes a year after the company issued a profit warning, blaming a drop-off in global trade.
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