National Security

US Ferry Services Targeted By Mysterious Cyber Attack

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
Font Size:

Ferry services connecting the Massachusetts mainland to popular vacation spots were targeted by a cyber attack Wednesday morning.

The Massachusetts Steamship Authority, which operates ferries to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, announced on Twitter that it was hit with a ransomware attack. Although the ferries are still operating, the Steamship Authority expects delays.

Ferry services will continue to operate since the boats’ radar and GPS were not affected by the ransomware. However, customers are not able to purchase tickets online or by phone due to the attack.

Ransomware attacks often use spam emails to hack and lock up a victim’s computer files, according to the McAfee computer security company. Hackers then require their victims to pay them in order to release the files. (RELATED: DOJ Bust Canadian Ransomware Attacker, Seize Over $450,000 in Extorted Cryptocurrency)

American infrastructure has been repeatedly targeted by hackers in the last month. The Colonial Pipeline, which transports 100 million gallons of gasoline every day between Houston and New York, was hacked by an Eastern European group called “DarkSide.” That hack was also a ransomware attack. The company that operates the pipeline paid millions of dollars to the group in order to regain access to its servers.

Hackers breached the JBS meatpacking company, which operates multiple meatpacking plants throughout the U.S., on May 30. JBS told government authorities that the hackers are also demanding a ransom, according to CNBC.