Data ‘has not been compromised’ in Transnet cyber attack, says Gordhan’s department

Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has finally commented publicly on the cyber attack at Transnet – a week after the IT hacking forced the state-run ports and logistics giant to resort to manual operations group-wide.

The DPE posted a statement on social media channels on Wednesday night, assuring the shipping industry and other stakeholders that key operations at South Africa’s ports have been restored and that Transnet and its client’s data ‘has not been compromised’.

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“Government announces that there has been a breakthrough following the IT security breach,” it said.

“Transnet has managed to fully restore operations at the ports, which enables the country[’s] supply chain and logistics system to resume normal operations … The return to operations is good news for the economy, as the Transnet ports and rail system are the backbone of the economy,” it added.

Read: Transnet cyber attack confirmed: Port terminals division declares force majeure

One of the hardest hit divisions within Transnet group was Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), which was forced to declare a force majeure as it battled to deal with trucks coming into the country’s main container ports of Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Ngqura.

Moneyweb reported on Wednesday that TPT’s vital Navis port operating system came back online on Tuesday night, but Transnet group’s overall emails and websites remain offline (even as of Thursday morning). The force majeure at TPT also remains in place, but Transnet expects to lift this soon.

Read: Transnet’s vital Navis container terminal operating system back online

“The preliminary [IT/cyber security] assessment of the cyber attack indicates that Transnet and its customer data has not been compromised,” Gordhan’s department stressed in its statement.

“Cyber attacks have been on the increase in the country and globally. Investigations are underway into the events and due process will take place,” the DPE added.

On TPT’s force majeure the ministry noted that it “is currently in place” but “under review with the intention to lift it in the coming days”.

In the statement, Gordhan commended both Transnet and industry stakeholders in handling the situation.

The DPE also said that based on its interactions with the shipping industry, most shipping lines assured the department that  South Africa’s ports would not be bypassed due to the cyber attack incident.

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