HYANNIS — FBI and state police are investigating a Memorial Day weekend ransomware attack on the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) servers.
Tom Cahir, CCRTA administrator, said that on Monday, staff received an email alerting them that files on their servers had been encrypted, which rendered them unreadable. Generally, ransomware attackers ask for money to unencrypt the files.
Ransomware attackers use email as a way to engage their targets in a dialogue, but Cahir said CCRTA staff did not engage with whoever is behind the attack and thus do not know their demands for unencrypting the data.
He contacted state and federal law enforcement officials, who are investigating the root of the attack.
The company’s Capewide fixed-route hourly bus line schedule was not affected by the ransomware attack.
However, the CCRTA’s Dial-a-Ride-Transportation (DART) bus service, which allows customers to schedule a ride 24 hours in advance, has shifted to manual route mapping in place of the usual onboard digital communication system that creates ride schedules electronically.
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Although the DART has gone wireless, Cahir said that the company’s services have largely remained uninterrupted.
“I’m amazed at our incredible team that’s working around the clock to make sure our services remain uninterrupted,” he said. “As bad as these things are, our services have not been adversely impacted.”
Ransomware attacks are an unfortunately common occurrence across the country, Cahir said, and he was assured by officials from the FBI and state police that CCRTA is taking all necessary steps to fix their system.
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“We’re obligated to reach out to certain authorities, and they feel that we’re doing the right thing and are ahead of the curve, so to speak,” he said. “We’re here every day trying to do what we have to do, and hopefully we’ll be back to normal in a few days.”
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