Bristol Airport reported last week that it had been the victim of a cyber attack resulting in flight display screens failing. Whilst there was no reported disruption to flight departures or arrivals, flight details including check-in desks, boarding gates and flight times had to be provided via the public address system and displayed on white boards. The outage continued over two days before normal service could resume. A statement from Bristol Airport explained that the systems were taken offline by their own security administrators in order to mitigate a suspected online criminal attack and prevent any damage.
Some reports indicate that this was a ransomware attack. Ransomware comes in different forms. However, in its basic form, a payment is demanded to decrypt files or unlock a machine infected by the malware. There is no guarantee that once a payment has been made that the victim will have access restored to them.
An airport spokesman said that the information screens went offline due to a so-called “ransomware” attack, though he confirmed that no “ransom” had been paid to get the airport systems working again.
Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.