Bristol Airport Denies Paying Hackers to Get its Displays Working Again

By Gary Cutlack on at

Staff at Bristol Airport have been forced to pull a Gatwick over the weekend, after computer problems caused their departures and arrival screens to be taken out of service and they had to write up flight times by hand. The embarrassing reason for the IT failure? Its systems were broken into by what appears to have been a random drive-by ransomware attack. Not really what you'd expect of an airport.

An airport spokesperson said someone in the admin department appears to have allowed themselves to be exploited by some sort of hack, with the resulting chaos seeing the facility's systems, including live flight data feeds, taken offline as a precaution. And they're putting their systems back together again manually without paying any sort of ransom, hence it might take a while.

The good news is that this doesn't indicate the start of a war of terror on Bristol Airport by overseas hackers or a rival regional airport, as they believe it was a "speculative attempt" at cracking something via a widespread generic attack, and that getting into the airport's systems was a lucky break for whatever hack farm was behind it. [BBC]

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