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20 Aug, 2020
Ransomware Attacks Largest Cruise Line, 5M Data Stolen

The largest cruise line in the world has been hit by a ransomware attack, with customer data also believed to have been accessed. Carnival corporation which operates more than 100 vessels across 10 different brands that include Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Costa cruises with over 150,000 employees and 13 milion guests annually notified the U.S. Securities and exchange commission(SEC) this week after detecting the attack on 15th August where the threat actors accessed and encrypted a portion of one brand's information technology systems. They also downloaded files from the company's network.

In its report to the SEC, Florida-based carnival said that its investigation so far shows that the perpetrators accessed and encrypted some of its computer data, and also downloaded a number of data files. It added that it's likely the security incident also saw unauthorized access to personal data of guests and employees despite some fallout including potential lawsuits. The company believes that the incident will not have a material impact on its business operations or financial results.

According to carnival the company is working with industry leading cybersecurity firms to immediately respond to the threat, defend the company information technology systems and conduct remediation. Digital trends have reached out to the company to ask which brand suffered the attack, how many customers may have impacted, what personal data may have been taken, and for details of the ransomware demand.

A ransomware attack uses malicious software to lock a computer system by encrypting files. Once locked, hackers demand payment from the owner of the system in return for a decryption key to regain access to the data. Such incidents can cause huge disruption for victims whether individuals or companies with some feeling they have little choice but to pay the hackers.

Retail currency dealer Travelex for example, reportedly paid $2.3 million to regain access to its system following a ransomware attack at the start of this year, while GPS and fitness-tracker firm Garmin, which suffered a damaging attack list month, may have paid a substantial sum to get its systems up and running again. Although we upon our investigation to date, there can be assurance that other information technology systems of the other company's brands will not be adversely affected.

The company also disclosed another security breach in March in which an intruder got access to its internal network between April and June 2019 and managed to steal personal information of some of its guests. To avoid falling victim to a ransomware attack, you should make sure your computer's security software is fully up to date. You're also advised to avoid clicking on unverified links in emails that could deliver the malware to your system or your company's servers. Downloading files from sites you know little about is recommended. If a company fall victim to a ransomware attacks, those with robust back-up procedures are usually best placed to deal with it as they can reset their systems using safely stored data.

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