after a month being the target of ransomware attacks, Costa Rica has declared a state of emergency.
This measure, usually reserved to deal with natural disasters or other critical contexts, opens the way for the Costa Rican government to react more quickly to this problem.
State of national emergency in Costa Rica, due to ransomware attacks
Rodrigo Chaves, president of Costa Rica, took office last week. He received the mandate from his country knowing the situation, which he began during the government of his predecessor, Carlos Alvarado.
When the attacks began, Alvarado assured that Costa Rica would not pay any ransom to the gang after the cyberattacks.
The declaration of the state of emergency, decreed last Wednesday, was one of the first acts of Chaves under the command of his nation. Under this regime, the government has more legal resources to contain the crisis.
These events were defined as the work of “cybercriminals” and “cyberterrorists”, in the declaration of this exceptional regime, which affected the digital media of different government departments.
The first reports date back to April, when the Costa Rican Ministry of Finance was the first to report that several of its systems were affected, compromising tax collection and customs data. Until now, their systems are still not working normally.
Other areas affected by these attacks include the human resources system of the social security agency and the Ministry of Labor.
Although no estimates of the losses caused by these attacks have been reported, nor has a new expansion of the attack been reported, its impact is still considerable. This is the theft of more than 670 GB of information about which no further details are known. However, considering the affected institutions, it is presumed that it is not only State documentation that was compromised, but also taxpayer data.
Publicly, the Russian-speaking Conti gang claimed responsibility for these attacks. In response to this statement, the United States offered a reward of up to 10 million dollars for information that serves to identify or locate the leaders of the hacker group, and up to 5 million for information that leads to their arrest or conviction.
Conti’s attacks with his Ransomware have not stopped. New reports indicate that this dynamic has also occurred in Peru, where a government site was also intervened, compromising secret documentation.