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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.

Go deeper

Ransomware business achieves critical mass

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Memorial Day weekend ransomware attack that left the world's largest meat processor hobbled also had CEOs around the globe asking, "Am I next?"

Why it matters: The attack on Brazil-based JBS came just weeks after a similar attack on Colonial Pipeline, the U.S.'s largest refined-fuel pipeline operator. Attacks that disrupt food and energy supplies are the kinds that rouse governments to strike back.

JBS to bring most plants online after ransomware attack

The JBS beef plant in Brooks, Alberta, Canada, on June 1. Photo: Alex Ramadan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

JBS SA told Bloomberg Tuesday that a "vast majority" of its plants will be operational Wednesday after a ransomware attack forced all of the company's beef plants in the U.S. to shut down.

Why it matters: The attack has raised fears of meat supply or pricing issues, similar to what happened to gas prices and availability after the ransomware attack against Colonial Pipeline last month.

Updated Jun 1, 2021 - Technology

Top meat supplier is the latest victim of a cyberattack

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Major meat supplier JBS USA was the latest victim of an organized cybersecurity attack, with servers in North America and Australia impacted, the company said Sunday.

Why it matters: JBS USA is the largest producer of beef in the country, The Hill notes, and is a major supplier of poultry and pork. JBS’s five biggest beef plants — which collectively manage a total of 22,500 cattle per day — have paused processing after the weekend attack, according to JBS. The hack has led to one-fifth of U.S. beef production being wiped out, Bloomberg reports.