Cyber breach shuts down SA ports and railways

Early this morning, South Africa’s entire port and rail network was shut down by the biggest cyber breach in Transnet’s history after hackers broke into the state-owned company’s (SOC) country-wide system used for the movement of cargo.

This has been confirmed by Mike Walwyn, a consultant for the South African Association of Freight Forwarders.

“The Navis system - and probably other systems as well - have all been affected,” Walwyn said.

He added that all the country’s ports and railways had been affected.

“They’re not operating at the moment.”

“I gather they’re probably making some progress in fixing it, and of course there are a number of conspiracy theories.”

Although he wasn’t prepared to speculate on what was the behind the breach, Walwyn did say that it was the biggest cyber breach that Transnet had ever had to deal with.

“It’s the first time on this scale.”

“We’ve had little breakdowns of the system in the past, but nothing that has been a deliberate act.”

“Nothing is moving at the moment. You cannot move a container in and out of the port because everything depends on the system.”

Requests for information have been sent to Transnet and its subsidiaries – Transnet Freight Rail, Transnet National Ports Authority, and Transnet Port Terminals.

In light of the severity of the breach, the parastatal has gone to ground, drawing a shroud of silence over the embarrassing situation in which it finds itself.

However, Freight News has learned from a reliable source that an executive at the SOC (*) has said that they’re busy determining the extent of the breach in a bid to recover operations speedily.

* Although initially mentioned, it's been decided to withhold this person's name due to the sensitive nature of this story.