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San Diego port hit by major ransomware attack

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo)

This Thursday, the Port of San Diego was hit by a ransomware attack. Reuters (opens in new tab) has reported that the port’s information technology systems have been disrupted, but its operations are continuing as usual.

“This is mainly an administrative issue and normal Port operations are continuing as usual,” the Port of San Diego’s Chief Executive Officer Randa Coniglio said in a statement.

According to the report, public safety operations, as well as ship and boat traffic, continues as usual. On the other hand, things like public services about park permits, public record requests and business services are currently disrupted.

It was said that the hackers behind the ransomware attack demanded payment in cryptocurrency bitcoin, but port officials denied to say how much they are being asked for.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are currently investigating the matter.

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts all of the information on a machine or a network, and asks the victim for payment in cryptocurrency, in exchange for the decryption key.

These types of malware have surged in popularity lately, due to the fact that encryption itself isn’t a malicious act, thus making it hard for security organisations to spot them early.

Also, with the rise of cryptocurrencies, it has become easier for hackers to get money through their schemes.

The best way to protect yourself against ransomware is to be vigilant when downloading files, especially email attachments.

Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.