Operations at the oil terminals of some of northwest Europe's biggest ports have been disrupted by a large-scale cyberattack, brokers and authorities told AFP on Thursday.
Antwerp in Belgium—Europe's second-largest port after Rotterdam—and the major German port Hamburg were among those targeted in the cyberattack.
"There was a cyber attack at various terminals, quite some terminals are disrupted," Jelle Vreeman, a senior broker at Rotterdam-based Riverlake, told AFP.
"Their software is being hijacked and they can't process barges. Basically, the operational system is down," Vreeman added.
With the systems down, the oil terminals are unable to process tankers and barges unloading oil and oil products.
Germany's Hamburg and at least six other oil terminals in the Netherlands and Belgium seem to be affected by the cyberattack, Euronews and AFP report.
Company IT systems are being affected at the major oil trading hub Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp, which appears to be one of the main victims of the cyberattack.
Germany is investigating a cyberattack that has targeted oil facilities in what could be a possible ransomware attack, prosecutors told AFP. Europol, the EU's police agency, has offered to help German authorities with the investigation.
The disruption to oil terminal operations at major ports in northwest Europe comes days after a cyberattack on a German oil storage and logistics firm disrupted fuel supply chains in Germany, where supermajor Shell was forced to reroute supply to alternative depots.
Shell was able to "reroute to alternative supply depots for the time being," a spokesperson for Shell's German unit, Shell Deutschland GmbH, said in a statement on Tuesday as carried by Reuters.
A few days earlier, oil supply and logistics firms Oiltanking Deutschland GmbH and oil trading firm Mabanaft, both of which are subsidiaries of Hamburg-based group Marquard & Bahls, were victims of a cyberattack that affected their IT systems.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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