Expeditors International, known for freight forwarding, has announced an apparent cyber-attack that is believed to be ransomware. The attack was noticed by the company on February 20th, 2022, which subsequently shut down most of their global operations. Since the discovery of the incident is so recent, very limited information is available about the attack, but a third-party cybersecurity company has been brought in to assist with the investigation and recovery efforts. A portion of the announcement made by the company reads “Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPD) announced that on February 20, 2022, we determined that our company was the subject of a targeted cyber-attack. Upon discovering the incident, we shut down most of our operating systems globally to manage the safety of our overall global systems environment. The situation is evolving, and we are working with global cybersecurity experts to manage the situation. While our systems are shut down, we will have limited ability to conduct operations, including but not limited to arranging for shipments of freight or managing customs and distribution activities for our customers’ shipments.” Since the situation is still evolving, it is likely more information pertaining to the incident will be released in the coming weeks.
At this time, it is not yet known what group is behind the attack or what the motivation was. Expeditors International should consider a defense-in-depth strategy moving forward to potentially prevent or reduced the seriousness of incidents like this from occurring in the future.