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  • Steamship Authority continues to deal with ransomware hack, Maura Healey sounds alarm on cyberattacks

    Steamship Authority continues to deal with ransomware hack, Maura Healey sounds alarm on cyberattacks

    People can now make reservations over the phone


    A ransomware attack continues to make rough seas for the largest ferry service to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, which is still experiencing disrupted operations nearly a week after it’s systems were torpedoed by unknown actors.

    While the Steamship Authority’s online booking system remained down Tuesday, the Authority announced that people can now make or change reservations by calling its Mashpee Reservation Office.

    “The Steamship Authority is continuing to work with our team internally, as well as with local, state, and federal officials externally, to address the June 2, 2021, ransomware incident,” the Authority said in a statement. “Our investigation into this incident is ongoing, and with the assistance of third-party cybersecurity and forensic investigators we are working to determine the full nature and scope of the event.”

    “Scheduled trips to and from the islands continue to operate safely as scheduled, although some delays in the ticketing process may occur,” the Authority said.

    Although some credit card access is now available at terminals and parking lots, the Authority is still recommending that people bring cash to speed up the ticketing process.

    In the wake of the local hack, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Tuesday urged Bay State businesses and government agencies — including law enforcement — to immediately assess their existing data security practices, and take appropriate steps to upgrade security measures.

    “Leaders from the public and private sectors have an important and critical responsibility to public safety and welfare to protect against these threats,” Healey said. “We strongly encourage all Massachusetts businesses and government organizations to take the appropriate steps to strengthen data security and ensure its computer networks are secure as required by law.

    “Our office will work with federal law enforcement partners to identify and hold the criminals responsible for these ransomware attacks accountable,” she added.

    A recent attack on JPS SA — a Brazilian company known as the world’s largest meat processing company — led to production shutdowns and lost profits and wages.

    Last month, a criminal group employed ransomware to lock the systems of Colonial Pipeline — a pipeline operator for the East Coast — causing a multiday operational shutdown and leading to a spike in gas prices, panic buying and localized fuel shortages.

    The Steamship Authority’s Mashpee Reservation Office will have extended hours through Friday. The office will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on those days.

    The Authority is accepting new reservations or changes to existing reservations for either vehicles or passengers on the fast ferry between June 9 and 15. The Authority will start accepting requests for reservations beyond those dates in the near future.

    To make or change reservations, call the Mashpee Reservation Office at 508-477-8600.

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