The Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten, already in difficulty because of the Covid-19 pandemic, announced on Monday that it had been the target of a cyber attack. According to the company’s head of technology services, Ole-Marius Moe-Helgesen, « This is a serious attack, » « Hurtigruten’s entire global IT infrastructure appears to be affected, » he added in a statement.
According to the cruise line, the attack was detected overnight from Sunday to Monday and the relevant authorities have been notified. “The attack appears to be so-called ransomware,” Hurtigruten said. Ransomware is malicious software that limits a user’s access to their data and demands a ransom to restore it.
This incident comes as Hurtigruten is hit hard by the pandemic like the rest of the global cruise industry . After trying to relaunch cruises in June, which resulted in the contamination of several dozen crew members and passengers, the company announced in September their suspension until the end of December 2020.
In the statement, Hurtigruten says it values the information security of all customers and is currently working to resolve this situation. Hurtigruten immediately took steps to contain the issue and commenced an investigation to determine the data and individuals that may have been affected. Hurtigruten also reported this matter to Norwegian law enforcement based on the company’s Oslo headquarters location and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hurtigruten is continuing to work with third-party cybersecurity experts to enhance the security of their systems and reduce the risk of a similar event happening in the future.
At this time, the cruise line is communicating with customers to improve the prevention and detection of cyber threats and how to respond to them. There is no indication of any real harm to those affected as a result of this incident.
Photo: Hurtigruten’s MS Roald Amundsen in the Northwest passage – as the first hybrid powered ship to traverse the legendary passage: Karsten Bidstrup/Hurtigruten