CyberDaily: Cybersecurity news

Belgian prosecutors are investigating the hacking of oil facilities in the country’s ports, including Antwerp—Europe’s second-biggest port after Rotterdam. 

In Germany, prosecutors said they are looking into cyberattacks targeting oil facilities. The ransomware targeting oil facilities locked the systems and demanded a sum to be paid to unlock. 

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Oil prices hit a seven-year high last month amid diplomatic tensions with gas supplier Russia, and energy bills are fuelling a rise in inflation that has spooked European policymakers.

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

There was a cyberattack 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 operational system is down,” he said.

The EU’s Europol police agency said it was aware of the incidents in Germany and 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 cross-border Dutch and Belgian 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 hit, Belgian daily De Morgen reported.

The Dutch National Cyber Security Centre said the attacks were “probably committed with a criminal motive” and pledged to take further action “if necessary”.

Two oil supply companies in Germany stated that hackers targeted them from January 29.

Both Oiltanking Deutschland GmbH and Mabanaft have resorted to Force majeure; it’s a legal clause used by parties when they cannot fulfil their obligation because of an unforeseeable event, a joint statement said.

“We are committed to resolving the issue and minimising the impact as quickly and effectively as possible,” they said.

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.