Jun 2, 2021 - Technology

Massachusetts Steamship Authority hit by ransomware attack

Photo of a white Steamship Authority ferry in the water
A Steamship Authority ferry approaches the Nantucket Terminal. Photo: Maddie Meyer via Getty Images

The largest ferry service to the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket has been targeted by a ransomware attack that is causing travel delays, the Massachusetts Steamship Authority announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Ransomware has recently become a "global pandemic" thanks to the rise of a profitable industry around it, Axios' Scott Rosenberg writes. In May, a similar attack on Colonial Pipeline, the U.S.'s largest refined-fuel pipeline operator, sent the Southeast into crisis.

Details: The attack happened Wednesday morning, according to the ferry service. A team of IT professionals has been deployed to assess the impact.

  • Steamship Authority said additional information will be available once the initial assessment is complete.

Worth noting: The cyberattack comes days after the world's largest meat processor was hit by ransomware.

The big picture: 2020 saw roughly $350 million in cryptocurrency payments to ransomware attackers, more than triple the previous year's take, per one study.

  • White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday President Biden will raise the issue of cyberattacks at his next meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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