Greek Shipping Software Hit by Ransomware

Posted by
Oct 09, 2021
Reviewed by
Jan 16, 2024
min. read
Table of Contents

Few places on Earth have such an intimate and storied relationship with the sea as Greece. The nation comprises more than 200 islands throughout the Aegean Sea, and its history and traditions date back millennia. Since ancient times the surrounding waters have been a source of sustenance, maritime trade, warfare, as well as complex myths and stories entwined with the region’s culture.

After a long war that pitted the old Titan gods against the newer Olympians, the sea became Poseidon’s domain, while his brothers Zeus and Hades ruled over the skies and Underworld, respectively. Since then, Poseidon has either allowed safe passage for sailors, or sent them to their deaths.

Citizens of the ancient world delighted in hearing these and other stories of the mythological origins of their known world in works such as Homer’s The Odyssey. Colorful and wondrous characters lived in far-flung lands, such as the cursed sea-nymph Calypso, the man-eating cyclops Polyphemus, and the sorceress Circe who turned sailors into pigs, wolves, or lions.

The legends also tell of a world of dangers—some of which should serve as cautionary tales in our own time. Among these are Scylla and Charybdis, two sea monsters in close proximity who pose a lethal danger to ships who venture too close; the sirens, woman-bird hybrids who lured sailors to their deaths through enchanting songs; and the lotus-eaters who fed from the lotus tree, which produced a drug-like effect and rendered them lazy, apathetic, and complacent.

The eastern Mediterranean has had a profound impact on human history and culture. Still today it is an important area for international trade, military strategy, aquaculture and fishing, and tourism. Greece has carried on its maritime traditions and is home to one of the world’s largest merchant navies. So lucrative is its shipping industry that a much more contemporary hazard recently caused significant disruption to shipping services.

Greek Tragedy

Danaos Management Consultants, based in the coastal community of Piraeus in Greater Athens, provides maritime software solutions. Among the aspects of the shipping industry it supports are management, operations, accounting, communications, and internet and mobile technologies. Over the 2021 Halloween weekend, a cyberattack hit Danaos in the form of ransomware.

What followed is a modern day, high tech version of Poseidon’s wrath. Shipping companies that were affected used Danaos communication systems and were in direct contact with the solutions provider. It was reported that companies could not communicate with their ships, suppliers, and others, and some files with correspondence were lost.

The daunting tasks confronting Danaos after the attack rival the Twelve Labors of Hercules. The company is among the oldest maritime IT companies, and faces damage to its reputation. Immediately following the ransomware attack, Danaos urged its customers to back up their critical files to external hard drives. It also hired an independent cybersecurity company to investigate how this happened and tried to help its clients restore their systems. In the near future, Danaos could also face litigation.

Data Security Fit for a Demigod

Among the cybersecurity issues revealed in the Danaos breach are how vulnerable the shipping industry is to a cyberattack and how unequipped shipping companies are to respond quickly and effectively in the wake of a cyberattack. The Danaos breach points up the need for stronger data security measures across companies’ entire maritime infrastructure.

SecureData’s hardware-encrypted SecureDrive external portable drives and SecureUSB flash drives provide cutting-edge data security solutions for offline backup storage and secure USB storage at rest or on the go. For maximum data protection, SecureData’s BT line of storage devices authenticate with a secure mobile app and are compatible with Remote Management, which allows an IT administrator to restrict a drive’s usage to certain locations or within certain times.

SecureData helps organizations protect critical customer and business data from unauthorized access on land, at sea, or wherever secure access is required.


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Philip Bader

After more than a decade in Southeast Asia as a reporter and editor for magazines, newspapers, and online media organizations, Philip Bader now serves as a freelance content writer for Secure Data Recovery Services. He writes blogs and web content about data storage technology, trends in enterprise data recovery, and emerging data storage technology.

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