Cruise company hit by ‘comprehensive’ cyberattack

A cruise company has reported being hit by a “comprehensive” cyberattack.

Norwegian line Hurtigruten said on 14 December that its systems had been affected by a ransomware virus data attack.

Its website is currently down, showing the message: “Sorry, the website isn’t working right now”, and the company’s internal email system has also stopped working.

“This is a serious attack,” said Ole-Marius Moe-Helgesen, Hurtigruten’s executive vice president for IT, reports AP.  

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“Hurtigruten’s global IT infrastructure appears to be affected.”

He added: “Our main priority now is to ensure safe and good operations for all guests and employees. We are working with all available resources to isolate the effects of the attack and limit the damage it can do.”

However, Hurtigruten said in a statement that it does “not expect a material financial effect from the cyberattack.”

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The company said it had notified the relevant authorities of the attack.

It is not yet clear whether passengers will be affected by the incident.

The Independent has contacted Hurtigruten for further comment.

A ransomware attack is different from some other forms of cyberattack in that the intention is not to steal a company’s data, but encrypt it.

The attacker then demands a ransom payment from the victim (hence the name) in order to restore access to the data.

Travel companies have been hit by a number of cyberattacks in recent years.

In May 2020, nine million easyJet customers had their data stolen by hackers.

The airline said the figure included 2,208 customers who had their credit card details exposed but that there was no evidence that the data had been “misused”.

“There is no evidence that any personal information of any nature has been misused, however… we are communicating with the approximately nine million customers whose travel details were accessed to advise them of protective steps to minimise any risk of potential phishing,” the airline said in a statement.

“We’re sorry that this has happened, and we would like to reassure customers that we take the safety and security of their information very seriously.”

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