[BreachExchange] Cyber-Attack Grounds Flights in Alaska

Destry Winant destry at riskbasedsecurity.com
Tue Dec 24 10:15:55 EST 2019


RavnAir Group was forced to ground flights on Saturday following a
cyber-attack on the Alaskan company's computer network.

In a statement released on Saturday morning, RavnAir wrote: "On
Friday, December 20th, RavnAir Group experienced a malicious
cyber-attack on our company’s IT network."

The nature of the attack was not disclosed; however, the company did
reveal that threat actors specifically targeted the small airline's
turboprop-powered regional airliner the De Havilland Canada DHC-8
aircraft, commonly known as the Dash 8.

As a result of the incident, the airline had to disconnect its entire
Dash 8 maintenance system and the back-up system.

All RavnAir Alaska Dash 8 flights that were scheduled to take place on
Saturday, December 21, a crucial day of travel in the busy holiday
season, were affected.

PenAir flights and RavnAir Connect flights were unaffected by the
incident, as they were able to run on back-up systems.

RavnAir wrote: "While we continue to work with the FBI, other
authorities, and a cybersecurity company to restore affected systems,
we are proactively cancelling all RavnAir Alaska Dash 8 flights until
12 noon today, and we expect to experience other schedule
cancellations and delays within the RavnAir Alaska (Dash 8 Aircraft)
network throughout the rest of the day because the cyber-attack forced
us to disconnect our Dash 8 maintenance system and its back-up."

According to news site WKRN, RavnAir spokesperson Debbie Reinwand said
that 260 passengers were affected by the malicious cyber-attack. Six
flights were cancelled, including the 1:30 p.m. flight from Unalaska
to Anchorage.

Disappointed customer Dennis Ede, who was due to take that 1:30 p.m.
flight, told KUCB radio: "I'm not happy about it. If I can't get out
today, I'll try to get out tomorrow. I'm trying to get home to Seattle
to see my family for Christmas."

Two further flights were cancelled on Saturday due to adverse weather

"We will be trying to add flights where we can over the next two
days," wrote RavnAir in a statement released at 1 p.m. Sunday,
December 22.

"We have, where possible, re-booked passengers on other flights."

RavnAir Group serves 100 different communities in Alaska from its
headquarters in Anchorage. Many of the communities who fly with
RavnAir are inaccessible by road.

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