Cyber assault continues to plague Steamship

Ferry line reduced to pen and paper at ticket offices. 

The SSA’s eldest ferry, the Governor, seen through the rigging of the sloop Elita, passes behind the schooner Juno. - Rich Saltzberg

The Steamship Authority continues to reel from a ransomware attack on its digital infrastructure. With the ferry line’s reservation system and website crippled, staff have had to resort to pen and paper at ticket offices and can only accept cash.  Nevertheless, there’s been no reduction in service, according to SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll. 

The attack was first reported by the SSA Wednesday morning.

In a statement to The Times Thursday, state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, reassured Islanders the lifeline remains unbroken.

“Following high profile hacks across the country, the attack on the Steamship Authority is another example of how vulnerable our infrastructure is to cyber criminals,” Fernandes said. “Fortunately for residents, the boats are still running and this critical lifeline remains intact as law enforcement gathers information about the source of the breach and determines next steps. Ultimately, more action must be taken to address vulnerabilities and prevent future attacks.” 

The U.S. Coast Guard also reassured Islanders Thursday that the lifeline remains viable. 

“The Coast Guard is continuing to work in conjunction with the Massachusetts State Police Cyber Security Unit and the FBI who have the lead on this incident. There has been no impact to the vessel’s  safe operation, or the safety of its passengers,” Petty officer Amanda Wyrick emailed.  



  1. Someone needs to get fired over this. Hacks are only possible when not enough resources are spent preventing them. The Steamship needs to explain why they chose to short change their IT department, especially the security end of it.

  2. Eric,
    you need to do some research. No amount of money can stop a new attack. Crooks have more free time than working people and will always find an angle. if you knew how insecure it all was, you might use an abacus instead of your phone….

  3. No, our lifeline is not intact. We still can’t make a reservation for important things like medical care or family emergency. I have a doctor appointment in Boston next week. I may have to do standby the day before and the day after. That’s three days off of work and two nights in a hotel. Until the reservation system is back up, the lifeline is broken.

  4. So many companies and organizations are being hacked, as it is not so easy to prevent when the hackers are sophisticated. Recently, the University of California at San Francisco, one of the most prestigious medical universities in the country had to to hire a professional negotiator to address this and pay $1.14 million dollars to the hackers to get theirs stopped.

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