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World’s biggest cruise line operator, Carnival, hit by ransomware attack

PortandTerminal.com, August 18, 2020

MIAMI – The world’s largest cruise shipping company Carnival Corporation was the victim of a ransomware attack on August 15, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The attack accessed and encrypted a portion of one brand’s information technology systems, and included the download of certain of the company’s data files.

“The Carnival data breach is particularly nasty as the hackers have gained access and stolen the ‘holy grail’ of information including, personal details, credit cards and social security numbers.  All the essentials to perform some pretty nasty identity fraud on its customers.” Dan Panesar, Director of EMEA, Securonix,

Carnival explained that it had notified law enforcement about the attack and that it had engaged with legal counsel.

It went on to note that it had implemented several measures to reinforce the security of its IT systems and that it had begun working with digital security firms to help it respond to the incident.

Even so, it did not provide insight into which strain of ransomware was responsible for the attack and whether it had paid the attackers for the return of its data.

“Based on its preliminary assessment and on the information currently known (in particular, that the incident occurred in a portion of a brand’s information technology systems), the company does not believe the incident will have a material impact on its business, operations or financial results,” the company added.

The company did caution on one point:

“Nonetheless, we expect that the security event included unauthorized access to personal data of guests and employees, which may result in potential claims from guests, employees, shareholders, or regulatory agencies.”

There has been a massive 400% increase in attempted hacks since February 2020 coinciding with a period when the maritime industry turned to greater use of technology and working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, data from Israeli cybersecurity specialist Naval Dome shows.

Naval Dome ascribed the spike in malware, ransomware, and phishing emails to the Covid-19 crisis, adding that travel restrictions, social distancing measures, and economic recession are beginning to bite into a company’s ability to sufficiently protect itself.

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