Cross-Solent ferry operator Red Funnel has come under attack, with the shutdown of critical IT systems, but customer data, including payment details, is believed to be safe.
Red Funnel announced on Monday that it was experiencing computer glitches with the unexplained issue affecting online reservations, phone reservations, customer account inquiries and the license plate recognition system upon check-in. .
Today, on the third day of the disruption, the company confirmed that it believed it had been the victim of a malicious attack intended to strain its operation – a hack.
At this point, data theft does not appear to be a motive and there is no evidence of personal data leakage.
Online and phone reservations, customer account inquiries, automatic license plate recognition on check-in, and live service status updates are not available at this time.
Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, said in a statement to Island Echo:
“While we are still in the process of resolving the situation, it appears that several of our internal systems have been corrupted. In particular, our reservation and scheduling management system was affected, as were certain other internal systems.
“In accordance with best practice, we immediately prioritized our investigation to verify any evidence of a personal data leak and can confirm that we have not found any evidence to suggest that such leaks may have occurred. We also want to reassure customers that their credit / debit card details are not kept in our systems, so customers can rest assured that their card data is never at risk with us.
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“Our teams are working hard to restore our systems and we plan to resume a basic version of our online reservation system within the next 24 hours or less. We regret that we are temporarily unable to accept Red Funnel Reward Points or Travel Cards for new bookings; however, we are working to get this feature back up and running as soon as possible.
“We will continue to keep customers informed as more information becomes available. In the meantime, we advise anyone traveling without an existing reservation to arrive well in advance of their departure to ensure sufficient time to process the payment and confirm the reservation. Payment can be made at the terminal for a one-way or a return trip for the same day. Those who need to arrange a return trip for the next day or beyond should wait to book their return trip online or by phone when our system is available.
“Since Monday, all passengers who showed up to travel without a reservation have been able to embark on the navigation of their choice, so I want to assure our customers that we have not had any supply problems compared to demand. Again, we advise anyone traveling with us to arrive a little earlier than usual if possible.
“We would like to thank our customers and staff for their patience during this time and, once again, we apologize for the inconvenience.”