The Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. Courtesy Port of San Diego

More than 500 Port of San Diego employees Wednesday had “limited functionality” in the wake of a “serious cybersecurity incident,” according to port CEO Randa Coniglio.

“This may have temporary impacts on service to the public, especially in the areas of park permits, public records requests and business services,” Coniglio said in a statement.

She said the incident has disrupted the agency’s information technology systems.

Port spokeswoman Tanya Castaneda told Times of San Diego that Harbor Police were among the 569 employees affected by the incident.

“Our biggest concern is public safety, and the Harbor Police fortunately have alternative systems and procedures to use for the systems that are affected,” she said in a phone interview.

Castaneda said it was the first time she’s aware the port has been hit in this way, and “this is something we’re working on 24/7.”

She said every available resource is being used to examine these systems, but would not comment “at this time” on whether the Department of Homeland Security has been contacted.

Port officials are confident that the IT issues are confined to the port and not tenants.

“Right now, if you go to the website, you can’t access documents because we’ve taken down those down to make sure we scan them” to make sure they don’t contain bugs, Castaneda said, noting that she still gets email at her port address.

The Port first received reports of the disruption Tuesday and mobilized a team of industry experts and local, regional, state and federal partners to minimize impacts and restore system functionality, with priority placed on public safety-related systems, Coniglio said.

“The Harbor Police Department has alternative systems and procedures in place to minimize impacts to public safety,” she said. “The port’s open for business. We’re here.”

The disruption has been reported to the California Office of Emergency Services and the County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services.

“The County of San Diego’s Office of Emergency Services is providing mutual aid support to the Port for this incident,” said county spokeswoman Alex Bell.

“OES’ role is really to help facilitate unmet needs for our local jurisdictions during an incident. Since the Port has multiple neighboring city jurisdictions, they contacted OES just in case they needed additional resources.”

Sharon Bernie-Cloward, president of the San Diego Port Tenants Association, was quoted by The San Diego Union-Tribune as saying: “So far, no one has been impacted.”

Updated at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 26, 2018

Show comments
';