Hurtigruten, a Norway-based public transporter that ferries passengers and cargo between ports in Tromso, has disclosed that it has suffered a serious ransomware attack that has impacted its IT infrastructure seriously on a global note.
Ole Marius Moe Helgesen, the company’s IT head, confirmed the news and said that the IT staff are working 24/7 to solve the issue as soon as possible.
In order to contain the file encrypting malware from further spreading into the network, all digital systems have been seized from operations until further orders.
This is not the first time that companies in Norway have been hit by a cyber attack. In September first week this year, the parliament said that it had sustained a serious cyber attack on its email systems, forcing the employees to use pen and paper for correspondence.
A day after the Parliament attack, two companies operating in Norway announced that they were hit by a malware attack. Although Norway’s Telecommunication Ministry blamed Russia for the cyber attack, Moscow denied it on an immediate note.
Note 1- A Ransomware is a kind of malware that encrypts a database and locks it down from access until a ransom is paid. However, some ransomware spreading gangs like RYUK, first steal a portion of data from victim database and then encrypt it. So, that if the victim denies paying a ransom, then the bad guys can sell the data on dark web and make money.
Note 2- FBI is constantly urging ransomware victims not to pay any ransom to hackers as it not only encourages cyber crime but also doesn’t guarantee a return of the decryption key.