Malware Takes Out Passenger Information Screens At Cleveland’s Airport

The flight information (FIDS) and gate information (GIDS) screens went out of service last week at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport after a ransomware attack on the passenger-facing systems.

The screens went dark a week ago, and the airport’s CIO said this morning that it was still working to get them all back online.

There were conflicting stories and denials of the ransomware demands – as in “Pay us money if you want your screens re-enabled” – through the week.

The local news website reported on multiple sources that the system had indeed been, effectively, hacked. To its credit, the airport says it ignored the demands and fixed the problem without caving to any demand for money.

Cleveland’s Chief Information Officer Donald Phillips told that the city did not intend to mislead the public – and the media – about the problem.

“We were giving you what we knew at the time,” he said.

Phillips acknowledged that he considers the malware involved to be form of ransomware. He said the city was asked by the malware to respond to an email address for more information about the hack but the city did not respond.


Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 12 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Dave Haynes


13-year-old blog & podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by consultant, analyst & BS filter Dave Haynes. DNA test - 90% Celt/10% Viking. 😏😜🍺
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