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Ransomware Attack Hits Port of San Diego

The attack began Monday and continues to have an impact on services at the port.

The Port of San Diego has been hit with a ransomware attack affecting several computers and having an impact on processing park permits and record requests, along with other business services. The attack, first reported to port officials on Tuesday, is ongoing, according to a statement from the port.

Some experts have noted the similarities between this attack and the one that hit the city of Atlanta earlier this year. In both cases, essential customer services were affected and the criminals demanded payment in Bitcoin.

While the Port of San Diego has not released the amount of the ransom demanded, Barry Shteiman, vice president of research and innovation at Exabeam, says that the decision on whether or not to pay will likely come down to economics. "If the cost of paying the ransom is less than the downtime caused by unavailable data, or by the backup restoration process, then organizations should pay. By the same token, if the cost of giving up on the encrypted data is higher — both in lost revenue or intellectual property — than remediation would be, the company doesn't have much choice but to pay up," he says.

The attack was originally reported to the California Office of Emergency Services and the County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services, and the port is now partnering with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security on investigating the attack. Officials note that normal port operations, including ship access and public safety, have not been affected by the attack.

For more, read here.

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