Christmas Day Cyber Attack Does Not Impact Airport Operations

Jan. 10, 2020

The Albany County Airport Authority announced it had been the subject of a Christmas Day cyber attack that impacted Authority administrative computer servers but that it did not impact airport operations. The attack was reported to the Authority by LogicalNet, the Authority’s Schenectady based computer management provider.

LogicalNet reported its own management services network had been targeted and breached. A crypto virus entered the Airport’s system through LogicalNet’s maintenance server and subsequently overcame the Airport’s anti-virus protection.

The Airport Authority took immediate steps to notify the New York State Cyber Command, the FBI and sought assistance from ABS Solutions, a computer systems contractor. New York State Cyber Command advised the Authority to shut down all connections with LogicalNet.

Airport IT staff began a robust effort to contain any impact of the attack so that no Airport operations were effected. Subsequent analysis found that no TSA or airline computers had been breached and importantly, no personal or travelers’ information had been accessed. The safety and security of the traveling public was never impaired or in jeopardy.

The Authority, working with ABS is in the process of a system redesign that will prevent such an attack in the future. The recommendations under consideration may include the purchase of new equipment and software as well as additional Authority staff. The Airport Authority is covered by cyber insurance.

Airport CEO Philip Calderon praised the work of the New York State Cyber Command, the FBI and airport staff for their assistance.

“Thanks to the fast action by our IT department, Airport operations during one of the busiest travel periods of the year were not impacted and no passenger or airline data was acquired or accessed,” said Philip Calderone, CEO of the Albany County Airport Authority. “Within hours the Authority was able to resume all administrative functions with systems functioning as normal. We are grateful for the assistance provided by the New York State Cyber Command, the FBI and our consultant ABS.”