A UN maritime agency has emerged as the recent victim of a cyber attack. The United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) faced severe disruptions in its web-based services following the attack. It took the agency a couple of days to have the website back up and running.
UN Maritime Agency Cyber Attack
Reportedly, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) suffered a cyber attack on September 30, 2020. After the incident, the agency’s website went down.
The news first surfaced online via aa tweet from IMO’s official Twitter account. In this initial disclosure, the agency simply disclosed a technical issue.
IMO public website is currently undergoing some technical issues, our team is working to fix it and hopefully we will be back and running shortly. Thank you for your understanding.
— IMO (@IMOHQ) September 30, 2020
In a subsequent update, they further confirmed to be working on the matter.
The IMO website is still down, our IT is working on resolving the situation, we will provide updates via Twitter for now. Thank you.
However, a day after, the UN maritime agency disclosed the incident as a cyber attack.
The interruption of service was caused by a cyber attack against our IT systems. IMO is working with @UN IT and security experts to restore systems as soon as possible, identify the source of the attack, and further enhance security systems to prevent recurrence. pic.twitter.com/EzUQzqXMEF
— IMO (@IMOHQ) October 1, 2020
As revealed, the attack affected the website and web-based services, overcoming the “robust security measures in place”. However, the other services remained unaffected.
The email system, including other Internal and external collaboration platforms, are working as normal. The platform used for virtual meeting with simultaneous interpretation has been unaffected and continued to function.
After the attack on the IT systems, the Secretariat shut down the important systems to prevent further damages.
UN IMO continues investigating and resolving the matter in collaboration with experts.
The Secretariat is working with international security experts to restore systems as soon as possible, to identify the source of the attack, and further enhance security systems to prevent recurrence.
They have also assured to restore the web-based services as soon as possible.
However, they haven’t revealed any details yet about the nature of the cyber attack.
The United Nations IMO is an international standard-setting authority guiding the shipping, maritime security, and maritime environmental safety globally.