Red Funnel ferry firm's IT system hit by 'malicious attack'

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Red Funnel vesselsImage source, Red Funnel
Image caption,
The issue has left the ferry firm unable to process bookings

Ferry passengers have been left unable to make bookings for a cross-Solent ferry after the company's IT systems were corrupted.

Chief executive Fran Collins said the problem appeared to be "a malicious attack designed to strain our operation and bring our systems to a halt".

The ferry firm said as a result its online and telephone bookings and timetable systems were down.

Passengers are being advised to arrive well in advance of their sailing.

The ferry firm said the IT issues were first identified on Monday.

Ms Collins said: "We are still in the midst of resolving the situation - data theft does not appear to be a motive.

"We prioritised our investigation to check for any evidence of personal data leaks and can confirm that we have not found any evidence to suggest that any such leaks may have occurred."

The ferry firm said customer credit and debit card details were "not held within our systems, so customers can remain assured that their card data is never at risk with us."

The company said it was working to resume a "basic version" of its online booking system as soon as possible.

Day return and single tickets can be bought from its ticket offices at East Cowes and Southampton terminals.

The ferry firm runs a high speed service for foot passengers between Southampton and West Cowes and a vehicle ferry between Southampton and East Cowes.

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