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Bristol Airport’s Flight Display Boards Goes Offline due to Cyber Attack

 

As per reports, officials of the ninth busiest airport in UK blamed cyber attack, as the flight display boards of Bristol Airport goes offline for a few days around mid-September. When the travelers at UK's Bristol Airport looked at the flight information screens on 14 & 15 September and also at the wee hours of 16 September, a blue screen having white lettering was seen that stated: "OUT OF SERVICE - We are sorry for the inconvenience. Our Engineers are currently working to resolve the issue as soon as possible".

 

Thus, on both days, the airport staff was writing the flight details (i.e. arrival as well as departure information) on whiteboards, and for making any important announcements used the airport's public address system. Even though, none of the flights were impacted directly, the issues have created communication problems throughout the terminal.

 

An airport spokesman, as per BBC, said that the information screens went offline on 14 September as a preventive measure to contain the cyber attack - that was similar to the so-called "ransomware", a malware form in which the computer viruses threatened to delete the files unless ransom is paid.

 

Although James Gore, an airport spokesman, didn't specify the ransomware variant that has hit the Bristol Airport, he told BBC that the airport will not pay any ransom demand for getting the system again up and working. He added that they believe an online attempt was made to target some part of their administrative systems, and thus a few applications was taken offline by them as precautionary measure, which also includes the application that provides their flight information screens data.

 

Gore said "that was done to contain the problem and avoid any further impact on more critical systems". He further stated that this problem had taken much more time to fix than what the passengers would have expected; this is because a 'cautious approach' was adopted by the Bristol Airport to rectify the things. However, he added that "at no point were any safety or security systems impacted or put at risk".

 

At around 4:30am (local time) on 16 September, most digital screens with live flight information were back online at Bristol Airport.

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