Bitcoin illustration
Image via Pixabay

Tuesday’s cyberattack on the Port of San Diego’s computer systems involved a ransomware note demanding payment in Bitcoin, the port’s CEO confirmed Thursday.

Port Chief Executive Officer Randa Coniglio said her 569-employee district was teaming with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security on the “serious cybersecurity incident.”

It disrupted the agency’s information technology systems, she said.

She didn’t disclose the amount of Bitcoin — a cryptocurrency — being sought.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that typically threatens to publish data or block access to it unless a ransom is paid.

“The port also continues close communication and coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard,” Coniglio said in a statement. “It is important to note that this is mainly an administrative issue and normal Port operations are continuing as usual.”

The port remains open, public safety operations are ongoing, and ships and boats continue to access San Diego Bay without impacts from the incident, she said.

Port staff proactively shut down other systems out of an abundance of caution, she said.

“The port has mobilized a team of industry experts and local, regional, state and federal partners to minimize impacts and restore system functionality,” the CEO said.

The “temporary impacts” on service to the public are in the areas of park permits, public records requests, and business services, she said.