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Steamship Authority Targeted By Ransomware Attack; Martha's Vineyard And Nantucket Ferry Passengers May See Delays

WOODS HOLE (CBS) -- A ransomware attack Wednesday morning is affecting service on the Steamship Authority. Ferry passengers headed to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket could see delays and are currently unable to book tickets or change vehicle reservations online or by phone. The ticketing processes will likely continue to be affected on Thursday.

"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," the Steamship Authority said in a statement. "As a result, customers traveling with us today may experience delays."

The Steamship Authority said IT workers are looking into the impact of the attack. The company said safety is not an issue as the attack didn't affect radar or GPS capability.

"The Authority continues to work internally, as well as with federal, state and local authorities, to determine the extent and origin of the attack," the statement read.

All ferries are still operating. The Steamship Authority is sharing ferry schedules and the latest updates on the situation on Twitter.

The Dennis-Yarmouth girls tennis team was relieved Wednesday's ransomware attack didn't prevent them from making it to Martha's Vineyard for their match. "We have copies of everything, so just can't get tickets but we have proof, we do have proof," said Dennis-Yarmouth Girls Tennis Coach Stacey Olson.

Rescheduling and cancellation fees will be waived.

Cash is preferred for passengers on Wednesday, as the Authority's credit card systems are "limited."

"It took 20 minutes to get through the line and then I had to pay cash, I had to go to an ATM, and I made the boat with like two minutes to spare," said Justin Robinson, who makes the trip from the Vineyard twice a week.

Ransomware attacks are disrupting everyday life all over the U.S. Right now, meat processor JBS is dealing with an attack that's crippled its operations.

And last month an incident involving the Colonial Pipeline caused gas shortages up and down the east coast.

"People should be absolutely concerned that it's not just a large enterprise problem it can hit people's personal data," said Cyber Security Expert Peter Tran.

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