Ransomware: Shipping Agency Royal Dirkzwager victims of cyber criminals

The maritime logistics company Royal Dirkzwager has confirmed to the media that it has been the victim of a ransomware attack by Play Cybergang. This has no effect on current operations, but the cyber burglars got hold of data from servers containing a range of contracts and personal information.

The company’s CEO, Joan Blass, told TheRecord. Royal Dirkzwager went bankrupt in September last year, but was then taken over by Blass in October. “This has had an enormous impact on our employees. Last year, due to the company’s bankruptcy, we had to let go of employees, not all of them could stay. We had to move offices and now this. It was a very difficult time,” Blass continued further out there.

Screenshot of Play Cybergang announcement on the dark web

Screenshot of Play Cybergang announcement on the dark web

In the Darknet, the Play-Cybergang announced the data theft at Royal Dirkzwager and is now providing a 5 gigabyte archive as evidence.

(Image: Screenshot)

Play Cybergang reported the data theft on its Darknet presence. According to the cyber criminals, the data includes sensitive information, employee IDs, passports, contracts and more. As proof, the perpetrators uploaded a 5 gigabyte, password-protected .rar archive and wrote that it was only a fraction of the captured data. If Royal Dirkzwager fails to pay, the Play Group is threatening to release all copied data.

Founded in 1872, Royal Dirkzwager supplies information to more than 800 companies involved in the maritime industry and registers more than 200,000 ship movements annually. The company’s systems enable ports to plan ship arrival times and the associated nautical services needed as ships enter ports. There is no evidence of the cyber attack on the company’s website.

However, Blaas confirmed to TheRecord that the Dutch data protection authority was informed of the attack and said he was in negotiations with the cybercriminals.

It seems that maritime companies are falling victim to ransomware on an increasing number. In mid-January it hit DNV’s Shipmanager fleet management system. Around 1000 ships from 70 customers were affected.


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