Hackers Now Ruining Summer With Ransomware Attack on Martha's Vineyard Ferry

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Photo: STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP (Getty Images)

Not content with having attacked our nation’s beer, hamburgers, and oil, ransomware hackers now also want to ruin Americans’ summer vacation, too.

A cyberattack has targeted the Massachusetts Steamship Authority, the primary ferry service responsible for chauffeuring sun-baked vacationers back and forth between the mainland and Martha’s Vineyard and its neighboring isles, the agency announced Wednesday.

A favorite summer spot for most U.S. Presidents, as well as America’s rich and famous, “the vineyard” sits just south of Cape Cod and is known for its beautiful beaches, cool lighthouses, and breezy atmosphere. While America’s elite probably touch down on a hidden helipad via gilded choppers or something, most normal people use the Massachusetts ferry service to get to and from the islands.


The ferry service is still working but the attack has slowed down its operations, the authority warned on Wednesday. The incident seems to have occurred right as eager vacation-goers are likely attempting to take advantage of New England’s good weather.

“The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority has been the target of a ransomware attack that is affecting operations as of Wednesday morning. As a result, customers traveling with us today may experience delays,” the agency tweeted.


“There is no impact to the safety of vessel operations, as the issue does not affect radar or GPS functionality,” the authority added. “Scheduled trips to both islands continue to operate, although customers may experience some delays during the ticketing process.” The agency further noted that cash was preferable for transactions, implying the attack had impacted its payment processing system.

“A team of IT professionals is currently assessing the impact of the attack. Additional information will be provided upon completion of the initial assessment,” the agency said.