On Monday, Norwegian cruise company Hurtigruten reported that it was hit by a massive cyberattack involving what appeared to be “ransomware” aimed at taking data control to ransom it.
“It’s a serious attack,” said the company’s chief digital officer Ole-Marius Moe-Helgesen in a statement. “The entire worldwide digital infrastructure of Hurtigruten seems to have been hit.”
The company whose ships often acts as a local ferry, bringing people and goods from port to port along Norway’s rugged western coast, reported that it had notified the competent authorities when the attack was identified overnight from Sunday to Monday.
In a statement to the Oslo Stock Exchange, Hurtigruten said:” we do not expect a material financial effect from the cyberattack.”
“The attack seems to be a so-called ransomware,” Hurtigruten added.
Ransomware is a kind of malware — malicious software — that encrypts the data of the target, locking the owner out of its own system. It infects your computer and displays messages demanding a fee to be paid in order for your system to work again.
The pandemic has taken a toll over people and their businesses; cruise line industry businessmen are no exception. The attack takes place as the private investors of the cruise liner industry are struggling with heavy losses.
In June, the company tried to relaunch its cruisers but suspended them again in September until the end of the year after the virus infected dozens of crew members and passengers.
Europe’s cruise liner sector has a turnover of 14.5 billion euros a year and employs nearly 53,000 people, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The CLIA estimates that the damage caused to the industry by the coronavirus-related shutdowns could cost revenues of up to EUR 25.5 billion.