Carnival Cruise Faces $5 Million Penalty for Repeated Data Breaches

  • By Steven
  • Nov 11, 2022

carnaval cruise data breach

Doral, Florida-based cruise line Carnival Cruise faces the consequences of four data breaches in three years. The NYDFS is suing for five million dollars, even after a previous settlement of $1.5 million.

What Were the Attacks?

The first attack was noticed when an employee saw suspicious activity in the internal systems. An investigation showed that an email had been compromised and sent spam to other emails within their systems. The breach gave the hacker access to addresses, passports, names, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, and social security numbers. It took place sometime between April 11th and July 29th, 2019.

The second and third attacks were ransomware-based and were sent and received via email. The first of the two, occurring on August 19th, 2020, accessed employees’ birthdates, names, passport numbers, addresses, social security numbers, and personal health information. The second occurred on January 7th, 2021, and only accessed birth dates, passport numbers, and employee credit card numbers. 

The fourth breach occurred on March 26th, 2021, just over two months after the third. This was another phishing attack in which the hacker gained access to birthdays, passport numbers, phone numbers, names, addresses, health insurance information, and, in some instances, social security numbers.

What Did Carnival Cruise Do About the Breaches?

After each breach, Carnival Cruise would alert the necessary authorities; most states have laws that require companies to alert the state if anyone in the state was affected by a breach. After that, it doesn’t seem that the cruise line did much about the violations, hence the lawsuit. Allegedly, Carnival Cruise never implemented an MFA system, also known as a Multi-Factor Authentication system, which violates the New York Department of Financial Services, or NYDFS, Cybersecurity Regulation. 

Why Did NYDFS Announce the Lawsuit?

The NYDFS announced the lawsuit because of the large number of affected individuals. In addition to the hefty fine, the case made the cruise line give up its New York State producer licenses. A producer license is for anyone who plans to sell, negotiate, or solicit insurance in the United States.

What Will Come of the Lawsuit?

After the lawsuit, Carnival Cruise is being made to strengthen its cybersecurity. It will do this by agreeing to the following.

  • Employee email security training, especially phishing exercises
  • Create and apply a breach response and notification plan
  • Undergo an independent information security assessment
  • Logging and monitoring network activity in real-time
  • Implement policies and procedures to require strong and changing passwords

What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?

In the aftermath of the breach, you could download device monitoring software. You should also monitor your credit scores and reports to help ensure that no unauthorized parties use your cards or identity. If you find out that your identity has been stolen, each state has a number made for that exact purpose. Call the number for your state, and the responder will direct you on what to do.

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