British shipping services provider Clarksons is a big fish in international shipbroking waters. Recently, the company played by the best-practice-rulebook and refused to be bullied into paying a ransom demanded by… let’s call them cyber pirates. Apparently, the privateers breached a single isolated user account, allowing them access to Clarkson’s ‘citadel’ – in non-maritime terms, their computer systems.
Unfortunately, it seems that the thwarted buccaneers were sore losers and their threat to leak confidential and sensitive corporate data was taken seriously by Clarkson. The shipping firm has issued a public notice and apology, and is in touch with those clients who may be compromised. It is also working closely with lawyers, police and cyber security specialist to trace and contain the incident. While its transparent approach to the hack and swift response should be commended, it seems the stock market is less complimentary, with shares falling by 2% just after the announcement.
As yet the timing of the hack and its discovery are unknown, as is the identity of the hackers and the size of their ransom demands.