Flight information displays at Bristol Airport have been offline for two days due to an “attack similar to so-called ransomware”. The media are reporting that the displays have been re-established at ‘key locations’ at the airport, including in departures and arrivals, but the team is still working on restoring the displays on all other locations.
No ransom was paid, and the flights have not been disrupted.
Ransomware is a form of malware in which a hacker encrypts all the information on a network and demands money in return for the decryption key. The money is usually paid out in cryptocurrency. Security experts warn against paying any ransom as it doesn’t guarantee the hacker will release the key and, in many instances, they indeed don’t release it.
Spokesman James Gore told the BBC: "We believe there was an online attempt to target part of our administrative systems and that required us to take a number of applications offline as a precautionary measure, including the one that provides our data for flight information screens.
"That was done to contain the problem and avoid any further impact on more critical systems. The indications are that this was a speculative attempt rather than a targeted attack on Bristol Airport."
"At no point were any safety or security systems impacted or put at risk."
"Given the number of safety and security critical systems operating at an airport, we wanted to make sure that the issue with the flight information application that experienced the problem was absolutely resolved before it was put back online."
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