South Korea's flagship container carrier has confirmed that its email system has been attacked by cyber-criminals.

HMM said that its email servers in all areas except for America and Europe remain impacted by the unauthorised security breach, which was detected on Saturday.

The attack caused limited access to the Outlook email system in certain areas, HMM said in a statement on Tuesday.

Most of the damage caused by the hackers has been restored and no leaks of information or data have been detected, HMM added.

The line said that where emails cannot be used, its local agencies are processing customer requests by phone.

HMM said its e-business platforms, including booking and documentation processes, and other systems are "properly running without disruptions".

"The email system is gradually resuming, and our IT planning team, consisting of IT experts, is continuing the investigation to prevent further security accidents," HMM said in its statement.

The line, which operates over 100 boxships, added that it will conduct "enhanced security checks and take protective measures".

In May, insurance providers raised the concern that shipowners could be hackers' next target, following the cyber-attack on the Colonial Pipeline in the US.

Thomas Brown, chief executive at cyber insurance policy provider Shoreline, told TradeWinds last month that shipping is a target in part because it is a highly transactional business requiring large payments.

"Shipping companies are now squarely within the crosshairs of the cyber criminals' list of targeted, high-value opportunities," he said.

"Shipping companies are at the top of the cyber criminals' list."

France's CMA CGM, the world's third largest liner operator, in September 2020 suffered a damaging cyber-attack that crippled its e-commerce network.

It took around two weeks for the container giant to get its booking portals for pricing and tracking containers up and running after the attack.

The company was hit by a strain of ransomware called Ragnar Locker, which encrypts computer files and renders them unusable until the victim pays for access to be restored.