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Port of San Diego Hit by a Ransomware Attack Affecting its Computer Systems

 

It was confirmed in a press release by the San Diego Port that a cyberattack has affected its computer systems, and thus the port officials are struggling to maintain a few of its daily operations.

 

It was further revealed in a statement by the San Diego Port that a ransomware attack has hit its computer systems, and the attackers has demanded the ransom in the form of bitcoin. The attackers have demanded the ransom to decrypt the files. As per Randa Coniglio, Port of San Diego's Chief Executive Officer, the breach was reported on September 25, 2018, for the first time, and led to disruption of the agency's IT systems. Though Coniglio confirmed that the attackers demanded ransom, he did not mention how much the amount is.

In his statement, Coniglio said, "as previously stated, the investigation has detected that ransomware was used in this attack. The Port can also now confirm that the ransom note requested payment in Bitcoin, although the amount that was requested is not being disclosed".

 

This incident of breach is considered as 'serious cybersecurity incident', and therefore, the port facility, which is located in California's San Diego County, has asked for the help from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) along with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to investigate on the same.

Randa Coniglio, in his statement that was released on Thursday (September 27, 2018) said that the issue is largely administrative, and the regular port operations are functioning as usual. The CEO further explained that nothing has affected the port's functioning and it remains open. In spite of the ransomware attack, the ships and boats are still able to access San Diego Bay.

 

"While some of the Port's, which handles nearly three million tons of cargo annually, information technology systems were compromised by the attack, Port staff also proactively shut down other systems out of an abundance of caution," the CEO further added.

 

The CEO of San Diego Port further adds that, the areas where the public services are temporarily affected are business services, public records requests and the park permits.

 

This is the latest attack in a string that is aimed to take down the operations and infrastructure of the public entities. Another similar ransomware attack has hit Spain's Port of Barcelona just a few days before the incident of San Diego Port.

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