A ransomware attack on the Steamship Authority of Massachusetts hampered operations Wednesday morning.
The largest ferry service to the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, the Steamship Authority issued a statement warning that traveling customers may be delayed as a result.
“The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority was the target of a ransomware attack early Wednesday, June 2, 2021,” the company said. “The Authority continues to work internally, as well as with federal, state and local authorities, to determine the extent and origin of the attack.”
A “team of IT professionals” is working to assess the impact of the cyber attack, according to the authority.
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. As a result, customers traveling with us today may experience delays. 1/2
— Steamship Authority (@SteamshipMA) June 2, 2021
The Steamship Authority said “there is no impact to the safety of vessel operations,” as the issue does not affect radar or GPS functionality. Scheduled trips to both islands continue to operate, with delays possible related to the ticketing process.
Customers are currently unable to book or change reservations online or by phone. Cash is preferred for all transactions on Wednesday, the authority added.
The attack comes just days after Massachusetts lifted its COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and mask mandate and right at the start of the state’s summer tourism season.
Ransomware attacks involve malware that encrypts files on a device or network that results in the system becoming inoperable. Criminals behind these types of cyberattacks typically demand a ransom in exchange for the release of data.
The Steamship Authority said additional information will be provided as it becomes available.