Oiltanking GmbH and Mabanaft Gmbh, German petrol supply firms and subsidiaries of the Marquard & Bahls group have been paralyzed by a cyber attack.
The oil companies impacted by the cyber attack supplied a total of 26 companies in the country with fuel, leading to fears of shortages by German media, though the officials came forward to appease them.
With Shell operating nearly 1955 gas stations in Germany, in case of a shortage it may lead to a crisis situation that can have adverse effects on an array of Germany’s day-to-day operations, and by extension its national economy.
Frank Shaper, Managing Director of the independent tank storage association told Spiegel, the attack will affect the supply chain of the fuel in the country neither on heating nor the transportation aspects.
Though the disruption is significant and it remains to be seen how long it takes for the firm to resolve the IT problems caused by the attack, it looks like the supply chain could also have been busted.
The entire tank loading/unloading operations are automated, which means they cannot fall back to manual operations since it entirely relies on computerized systems that are currently offline.
Oiltanking operates 13 tank farms in Germany, while currently, it cannot serve trucks. To resolve this situation it has opted to use alternative charging points until the effects of the cyberattack are mitigated.
While talking to internet media, the company revealed Oiltanking GmbH Group and Mabanaft GmbH & Co. KG (Mabanaft) Group on Saturday, January 29th, 2022, discovered they were victims of a cyber-attack affecting our IT systems. They immediately rolled into action once they learned about the incident and took steps to enhance the security of our systems. Investigations into the breach have also been launched.
They are working on resolving the issue and putting contingency plans into action. The companies will further launch a full investigation in coordination with external specialists and other relevant authorities. While all terminals continue to operate safely.
Amidst the cyberattacks, Oiltanking GmbH Group continues to operate all terminals in all global markets. Oiltanking Deutschland GmbH. KG, which is not part of the Oiltanking GmbH Group.& Co. terminals are operating with limited capacity and have declared force majeure.
While Mabanaft Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG has also declared force majeure for the majority of its inland supply activities in Germany. While restoration work is in progress to bring all the terminals to perform normally as soon as possible.
The cyber-attacks are not linked with any hacking group yet, though it can be the work of a state actor who seeks to cause large-scale disruption and economic damage.
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