The victim, a critical hub for international maritime trade and commerce, is responsible for facilitating a wide array of activities at the waterfront, including cargo, cruise, and public services. As a strategic point of infrastructure, it is integrated into a larger network of ports and relies heavily on its technology systems to manage operations efficiently.
According to sources, on September 25, 2018, the victim fell prey to a ransomware attack, identified as 'SamSam'. This cybersecurity incident was marked by demands for payment in Bitcoin and is associated with tactics typically linked to a state-sponsored hacker group operating out of Iran. The attack leveraged a highly sophisticated threat vector, aiming to disrupt the victim's technological systems, although the specific scale and origin remain part of an ongoing investigation by federal agencies.
The ramifications of the cyberattack may include substantial financial demands and could have resulted in operational hiccups, though initial reports indicated that cargo safety and traffic operations were not compromised. The incident drew the attention of and an investigation by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.