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Cleveland Airport's Computer Systems Go Blank From Malware

Last week, the flight and baggage information screens at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport malfunctioned and went black. At the time, the public was made to believe it was due to a technical issue, but some are saying that the airport was the target of an attempted hack.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport’s computer system suffered last Monday after ransomware, a form of malware, affected the system, according to Cleveland.com. The screens remained black for at least five days.

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The ransomware asked the city to respond to an email address to get more information on the hack but the city didn’t respond.

“We never responded and moved on to fix it,” said Cleveland’s Chief Information Officer Donald Phillips.

Phillips added that the city wasn’t trying to mislead the public or the media about the malware.

Mayor Frank Jackson’s office declined to comment and wouldn’t even say that the city contacted the FBI about the malware, though according to Cleveland.com and Fox 8, the FBI was made aware of the situation.

In a statement, the city said:

"On April 21, malware was discovered on several Cleveland Hopkins International Airport computing systems. As a result, the Flight Information Display, Baggage Information Display and email systems were impacted. These systems were not accessed by any unauthorized personnel (hacked) and there were no ransom demands."

"The City of Cleveland and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport continue working to resolve the technical issues impacting a small number of airport systems. The City reiterates there is no impact to the airport’s security and operations systems," they added.

"Again, all airport safety and security operations are functioning as normal. However, email, airport flight and baggage displays are currently unavailable. Passengers can find similar flight information online at http://www.clevelandairport.com or via the airport’s special customer information teams."

According to Phillips, 95 percent of the system's operating screens at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport are back online.

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