In 2016 and 2017, there was a widespread ransomware attack that affected thousands of computers worldwide. The virus would make victims’ computers inaccessible, and then display a message explaining how they could pay in Bitcoin to get their data back.
The ransomware virus hit A.P. Moller Maersk, a container shipping company that manages about 18% of all container trade. The attack had immediate consequences: Maersk-run port terminals all over the world experienced massive disruptions in normal operations, such as the inability to receive containers, and Maersk customers didn’t know where any of their cargo was.
The cyber attack was among the biggest-ever disruptions to hit global shipping, and brought new attention to the topic of cyber risk in supply chains.