Cyber ​​attacks on the Port of Los Angeles have doubled since the start of the pandemic

One of the largest and most important ports in the world is facing cyber attacks in addition to increasing volumes of cargo. Since the beginning of the pandemic, this number has doubled. The number of monthly cyberattacks on the Port of Los Angeles now hovers around 40 million, Port Executive Director Gene Seroka told the BBC.

Los Angeles is the busiest port in the Western Hemisphere, handling more than $250 billion in cargo annually. Most of the attacks are said to originate from Europe and Russia. According to Serok, their main purpose is to hinder the American economy.

“Our intelligence proves that the threats are coming from Russia and parts of Europe. We have to be one step ahead of those who want to harm international trade,” Seroka told the BBC.

Ports around the world handle billions of dollars and tons of cargo every year, making them a very profitable target for cybercriminals and companies. Like the largest corporations, ports also face various types of attacks on a daily basis: ransomware, phishing, impersonation using fake credentials… Even unsuccessful attacks can cause work disruptions, which in turn slows down the operation and efficiency of the port, and this is known in the economy .

They work with the FBI to prevent attacks

The Port of Los Angeles has had an in-house cyber operations department since 2015. For some time, however, they have been working with the US FBI and contributing to their cyber surveillance network.

So far, the port has invested millions of dollars in cyber protection and developed one of the first Cyber ​​Resilience Centers in the world.

“We must take all preventive measures against possible cyber incidents, especially those that could threaten or disrupt the flow of cargo,” says Seroka.

The Cyber ​​Resilience Center provides more efficient intelligence gathering and greater protection against cyber attacks in the maritime supply chain. It is the central hub of the port where they receive, analyze and share information with those working in the port as cargo and shipping line managers.

The pandemic is also causing major disruptions in global supply chains, mainly due to curtailed production and the general shutdown of countries and economies. The consequences are also felt in the ports, where the situation has improved.

According to the Port of Los Angeles, there were 109 container ships waiting at their gates in January 2022. Each ship waited two days before being granted access. In a very short time, they managed to reduce the number of ships to 20.

Despite the progress, Mr. Seroka says the blockade will not be lifted until 2023. “There is too much cargo and not enough space.”

“The past two years have proven the critical role that ports play in our nation’s critical infrastructure, supply chains and economy. The most important thing is to keep the systems as secure as possible,” concluded Seroka.

Source: Računalništvo in telefonija – Računalniške novice by

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