Ransomware attack at Cleveland Hopkins airport in the U.S.

Cybersecurity specialists recently reported a ransomware infection at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, U.S. Local media mention that malicious software has affected all computers linked to payroll, email and airport records systems.

Although the airport attack achieved a very limited scope, experts in cybersecurity believe that this incident could have caused disastrous consequences, especially if the infection had reached critical airport infrastructure.

Through a statement, the mayor’s office mentioned that it was only an isolated fact that had failed to disrupt the airport’s regular operations. The statement highlights that the arrivals and departures occurred as scheduled. 

However, cybersecurity specialists believe that this may not be an isolated fact, as this incident could be part of the cyber attack campaign against the government offices of some U.S. states, such as New York and California. Although these attacks have failed to fully compromise the IT infrastructure of these states, some specific offices have been affected.

The biggest affectation by ransomware known in the U.S. occurred in Atlanta, when government systems were infected with the dangerous variant of ransomware known as SamSam. Because of this, the police had to record complaints on paper and pencil, there were no electronic payment systems and there was no access to the computer systems of the courts and government offices.

The perpetrators of the attack demanded the Atlanta government a ransom of more than $50k USD in virtual currency, although the total cost of the incident, including recovery process, reached about $17M USD.

According to cybersecurity specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) it is virtually impossible that the damage caused by this incident reaches figures similar to the losses generated by the attack of ransomware in Atlanta. Experts believe that this new attack should help organizations to take a more proactive stance on today’s cybersecurity risks.