Cruise Ships Forced to Cancel Sailings Due to Possible Cyberattack

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Carnival-owned Aida Cruises is suffering from major IT issues and does seem to be a possible cyberattack. This could now be the third major cyberattack against a cruise line this year and shows a worrying trend on keeping systems secure.

Aida Cruises IT Issues, What We Know So Far

The cruise line has already stated on its Facebook page that it’s currently being affected by IT issues but has not yet detailed anything specific. However, Cruise Law News reports a possible cyberattack after crew members got in touch about the matter.

Ransomware is a likely cause and also seems to be affected systems of sister line Costa Cruises. According to German-based Bild, AIDAmar captain Tönnies Kohrs announced over the public PA system confirming the IT issues and that the entire fleet is affected along with the office back in Rostock.

The cruise line’s e-mail and phone lines are down, and Bleeping Computer reports that Costa Cruises’ booking system is also not available. There is no doubt the IT problems have a major impact, and AIDA Cruises is also unable to go ahead with its New Year cruises.

Here’s what Aida Cruises stated on its social media:

Dear AIDA fans, unfortunately, we are currently affected by IT technical restrictions. Therefore, we are currently unable to reach our customers by telephone and e-mail.

This also affects in particular the necessary communication to arrive guests for the travel of AIDAperla from 26.12.2020 or 26.12.2020 AIDAmar from 27.12.2020.

Therefore, we, unfortunately, have to inform our guests that the planned arrival is not possible and we, therefore, unfortunately, have to cancel these mentioned trips.

We will contact all affected guests. Warmest regards, Your AIDA Team

Sailings Cancelled

So this has lead to the cruise line canceling AIDAperla’s departure on December 26, 2020, in the Canary Islands and AIDAmar’s departure also in the Canary Islands on December 27, 2020. Both ships had to end their current voyages and return to the Las Palmas port which is where they are both currently docked.

This a big setback for the Germany cruise line after just recently kickstarting cruises in the Canary Islands. AIDAperla resumed cruises in the region on December 5 and AIDAmar only restarted sailings on December 20.

Aidaperla Cruise Ship
Photo By: Aida Cruises

Not the First Cyberattack in 2020

2020 has not just been a year where the cruise industry has been in a shutdown but also major cyberattacks have taken place. Other Carnival cruise brands and more recently Hurtigruten have also suffered attacks that the companies are still recovering from.

In August 2020, several Carnival brands had issues, including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, and Seabourn. Personal details were accessed on guests, land-based staff, and shipboard crew members. The company is investigating the issue and currently contacting all those affected.

We also reported on an attack by Carnival UK-based brands including P&O Cruises and Cunard after systems went down at it’s Southampton headquarters.

More recently in December 2020, Hurtigruten suffered a huge attack which even brought the cruise line’s web site down for days. Phone lines were also down but that’s all the details that were released. it will likely take time to know more on what was accessed.

Photo Credit: hanohiki / Shutterstock.com

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