Vizag Port to handle Maersk Line vessels manually

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Visakha Container Terminal Private Ltd, one of the BOT operators of the Visakhapatnam Port Trust, will handle Maersk Line vessels manually following crippling of software systems used by AP Moller-Maersk following new ransomware cyberattack named Petya.

AP Moller-Maersk consortium operates Gateway Terminals India (GTI), one of the major container terminals in the country at JNPT, which has been seriously hit by Petya virus. GTI handles 1.8 million standard containers. Maersk Line is the world’s largest container shipping company.

“As VCTPL is expecting one of the largest vessels of Maersk Liner by Thursday morning, we have decided to dispense with electronic handling to avoid spread of the virus. We will allow despatch only after a thorough scrutiny,” VPT Deputy Chairman P.L. Haranadh told The Hindu.

VCTPL handles several container vessels of Maersk Line on a regular basis to international destinations. Maersk Line’s website announces that it is shutdown temporarily. It admitted that its IT and communication infrastructure had been impacted due to global cyber attack Petya.

In its second attack, cyber criminals have paralysed the systems of Russia’s largest oil company, Ukranian banks and multinationals in the Europe. In all, 150 countries are affected crippling an estimated 3.5 lakh computers locking up the vital data. WannaCry virus is believed to have been developed by hackers with links to North Korea to earn digital currency through Monero, an open source crypto currency. VCTPL COO Sushil Mulchandani declared they were not affected in any manner by the ransomware attack. “All our systems are functioning normally. We are taking adequate precautions because of the cyberattack on Maersk and GTI,” he stated.

‘IT firms safe’

The IT companies in Visakhapatnam, the largest hub for software and BPO companies in Andhra Pradesh, have been declared as safe. Taking advantage of certain flaws in Microsoft windows, the hackers have been playing havoc. “Our establishments are quite safe and not affected by the latest series of cyberattacks. We have already issues dos and don’ts on how to keep hackers at bay,” Software Technology Parks of India Joint Director M.P. Dubey told The Hindu.