Massachusetts Steamship Authority Targeted in Cyberattack

3141456 06/28/2017 IT systems in several countries have undergone a global ransomware attack. Alexey Malgavko/Sputnik Alexey Malgavko / Sputnik
Alexey Malgavko / Sputnik/AFP

The Massachusetts Steamship Authority was hit by a cyberattack on Wednesday, which took its website offline and caused delays for ferry travelers.

“The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority has been the target of a ransomware attack that is affecting operations as of Wednesday morning,” the Steamship Authority said in a statement. “As a result, customers traveling with us today may experience delays.”

“A team of IT professionals is currently assessing the impact of the attack,” the Steamship Authority added. “Additional information will be provided upon completion of the initial assessment.”

The incident is the latest cyberattack to impact operations in the United States.

This week, a cyberattack on JBS SA, the largest meat producer in the world, caused the shutdown of all the company’s U.S. beef plants, causing around 20 percent of the country’s beef capacity to be “wiped out,” according to Bloomberg News.

On Tuesday, the White House stated that Russia was likely the origin of the cyberattack and called on Moscow to punish the hackers responsible.

“JBS notified the administration that the ransom demand came from a criminal organization, likely based in Russia,” White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, according to The Hill.

“The White House is engaging directly with the Russian government on this matter, and delivering the message that responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals,” she added.

Jean-Pierre also confirmed that the Biden administration has offered assistance to JBS and said the FBI launched an investigation into the attack.

“The White House has offered assistance to JBS, and our team and the Department of Agriculture have spoken to their leadership several times in the last day,” Jean-Pierre said.

“We’re assessing any impacts on supply, and the president has directed the administration to determine what we can do to mitigate any impacts as they may become necessary,” she added.

Last month, Colonial Pipeline, one of the U.S.’s largest pipeline systems for oil products, temporarily shut down due to a ransomware attack on its operations. The shutdown caused widespread gas shortages and price increases across the East Coast.


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