European oil port terminals hit by cyberattack

By: AFP
Published: 07:08 PM, 3 Feb, 2022
European oil port terminals hit by cyberattack
Caption: European oil port terminals hit by cyberattack
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Major oil terminals in some of Western Europe's biggest ports have fallen victim to a cyberattack, sources confirmed on Thursday.

Belgian prosecutors have launched an investigation into the hacking of oil facilities in the country's ports, including Antwerp, Europe's second-biggest port after Rotterdam.

According to a specialised broker, the alleged hacking is affecting several European ports and is disrupting the unloading of barges in an already strained oil market.

"There was a cyber attack at various terminals, quite some terminals are disrupted," said Jelle Vreeman, senior broker at Riverlake in Rotterdam.

"Their software is being hijacked and they can't process barges. Basically, the operating system is down," he said.

Germany was also hit and the EU's Europol police agency said it had offered support to authorities.

"At this stage the investigation is ongoing and in a sensitive stage," Europol spokeswoman Claire Georges said.

One of the main victims seems to be the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp oil trading hub, where company IT systems were affected by the attack.

SEA-Tank Terminal, which has storage facilities in Antwerp, was affected by a cyberattack, Belgian daily De Morgen reported.

In Germany, two oil supply companies on Tuesday said they had fallen victim to a cyberattack, with other incidents also reported, including an allegation of a ransomware attempt.

The head of Germany's IT security agency, Arne Schoenbohm, said at a conference on Tuesday that the incident was serious but "not grave", German media reports said.

German prosecutors said they were probing the cyberattack.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.