Atlanta Airport Shuts Down Wi-Fi Following Cyber Attack on City

Passengers are also being told that flight information on the airport website may not be accurate.

Following a cyber attack targeting the City of Atlanta’s network servers on Thursday, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has temporarily shut down its Wi-Fi network and disabled parts of its website as a precaution. The ransomware attack, in which hackers block or hold data until a ransom is paid, is currently being investigated by the local authorities, along with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Secret Service.

At Atlanta’s airport, the busiest in the world, Wi-Fi access was shut down at around 1 p.m. Thursday for security reasons—as of Friday afternoon, it still has not been restored. Sections of the airport’s website, including flight information, have been disabled and visitors to the site are greeted with a message reading: “We are currently experiencing website difficulties. Security line wait times and flight information may not be accurate.” The airport advises passengers to check information directly with their airline, through their own websites and apps. Flights haven’t been affected by the information outage. “While we aren’t directly affected by the cyberattack, we are being abundantly cautious and have taken these systems offline,” airport spokesperson Reese McCranie told Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News. Hackers often use unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks as easy access points, as data transmitted is often unencrypted and unsecured.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that city employees coming to work on Friday morning were told not to turn on their computers or log in to their workstations. Authorities warned that anyone associated with the city, including those paying bills or carrying out other transactions with city offices, could be affected by the attack. They advised people in Atlanta to check that their bank accounts hadn’t been accessed by the ransomware. ““Because we don’t know, I think it would be appropriate for the public just to be vigilant in checking their accounts and making sure their credit agencies have also been notified,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a press conference on Thursday.

 

 

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