A crypto ransomware was used to recently attack the Port Of San Diego demanding payments in Bitcoin (BTC). According to Randa Coniglio, the Port CEO, the cybercriminals compromised a fraction of the information technology at the port after which the staff members shut down the system. The officials, however, are yet to disclose the amount of payment as well as the identity of the attackers in Bitcoin.
According to the senior security researcher at the San Diego Cybersecurity Firm ESET, Stephen Cobb, “What we’ve seen in the last 12 months is more of this targeted attack on organizations. It is difficult for government organizations to necessarily get the budget as quickly as they need to put defenses in place, but on the other side, they have essential services.”
Ransomware attacks like Port Of San Diego are now less common
At present, cryptojacking is the main threat to data storing because incidents such as ransomware attacks have become less common. Kaspersky Labs reports said that the number of users reporting such ransomware attacks have come down by almost 30% since they began. However, the incidents of cryptojacking have increased by 4.5 % this year. That is why the Port of San Diego ransomware attack surprised analysts.
Even then, the incidence is an indication that cybercrime and ransomware continues to be an unpredictable threat to all computers in various disguises. As per the official statement, both the Department of Homeland Security and FBI officials are now helping San Diego’s port to investigate the attack.
Port Being Helped by US Coast Guard and State Authorities
The Port is taking the help of the US Coast Guard, local, federal and state partners to restore the systems back to normalcy. The CEO of Port of San Diego, Randa Coniglio in a statement said, “It is important to note that this is mainly an administrative issue and normal port operations are continuing as usual.” He further added that the port continues to function as usual without any impact of the cybercrime incident on its functionality.
Coniglio revealed that the hired team of experts along with the pPort’s officials are now trying to determine the extent of damage done and the timing of the cybercrime. The team is also trying to develop a plan to recover lost funds.