The cruise operator Carnival, which owns both Cunard and P&O Ferries, has warned that hackers may have been able to access the personal data of both guests and employees.
A ransomware attack was detected on Saturday which saw hackers access and encrypt a portion of one of Carnival’s brand’s IT systems.
The company has already informed regulators and launched an investigation into the hack, although it hasn’t disclosed how many people may have been affected by it.
The Anglo-American company, which is one of the world’s largest cruise operators, said the hackers were able to download “certain of our data files”.
“Promptly upon its detection of the security event, the company launched an investigation and notified law enforcement and engaged legal counsel and other incident-response professionals,” Carnival said.
“While the investigation of the incident is ongoing, the company has implemented a series of containment and remediation measures to address this situation and reinforce the security of its information technology systems.”
It added that it was working with “industry-leading” cyber-security firms to respond to the threat and defend its systems.
“Based on its preliminary assessment and on the information currently known (in particular, that the incident occurred in a portion of a brand’s information technology systems), the company does not believe the incident will have a material impact on its business, operations or financial results,” it said.
Carnival’s stock plummeted earlier this year, when it emerged in February that the coronavirus pandemic would severely impact holidaymakers’ travel plans for the foreseeable future.
Warnings have also been issued that cruises in particular pose a significant risk to passengers with regards to the spread of viruses on board.
As a result, many ships have been forced to stay in port for months as international travel is restricted and passengers are wary about getting back onto the seas.
Hacking activity against corporations in the US and other countries more than doubled following the introduction of lockdowns, as digital thieves exploited weakened security resulting from a sharp rise in people working from home.