Markey Blames Russians For Cyber Attack on Steamship Authority

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey on Friday blamed Russian hackers for the ransomware cyber attack on the Steamship Authority.

“The Steamship Authority is a perfect example of what is happening,” with regard to cyber attacks, Markey said at a press conference in Woods Hole. “No one would have ever imagined that the Russians would attack the Steamship Authority. That is something that was otherwise unimaginable, that the Russians targeted that system.”

The Steamship Authority entered its third day suffering from the ransomware attack yesterday, still unable to regain control of its hijacked computer systems. While ferries continue to operate with no canceled trips, the Authority’s reservation and payment systems were still crippled on Friday, with travelers advised to bring cash to the terminals.

The Steamship announced yesterday morning that it had launched a temporary web site, SteamshipAuthoritySchedules.com, to provide fare, schedule and parking information while its primary web site was offline due to the attack. What remains unclear is the dollar amount of the ransom demanded by the hackers to restore control of the computer systems to the Steamship. The FBI continues to investigate the case.

“This is not new, this is just something that unfortunately has not been dealt with in a way that represents the magnitude of the threat to us and to our economy and to our security,” Markey said. “From my perspective what we’re seeing here at the steamship Authority, what we’re seeing with the meat industry, with the Colonial pipeline and our energy sector, it’s all saying to us very clearly, especially in those sectors that are most central to our larger economic growth, is that those (security) measures are going to have to be mandatory. This is not going away.”

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