The Costa Rican treasury announced on Wednesday to inform the civil servants the hack had affected the automated payment systems.
Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves Says the Country Is at War with Conti Hackers. In a recent statement, Rodrigo Chaves stated that his country is currently in a cyberwar with cybercriminals that are causing major disruptions to its IT systems in many government ministries. The president also added that the hackers have so far managed to infiltrate 27 government bodies including the state-run utilities and municipalities.
Conti ransomware cartel
The Conti ransomware cartel, which is expected to be run by Russia, has raised the ransom it demanded earlier to a staggering value of $20million which amounts to £16 million. The criminals have gone one step further and posted an online appeal to the general public to get on the streets and demand the ransom payment from the government.
On Monday, President Chaves held a press conference to deliver his plan to the press for the measures the government is planning to implement against these cyber-crimes. In his statement, there was no indication of any plan to pay the ransom amount, despite the increased interventions of these attacks in the government institutions.
The Costa Rican treasury announced on Wednesday to inform the civil servants the hack had affected the automated payment systems. The treasury issued a warning that this might delay the salaries and the employees will be required to apply for the payments via their emails or by hand-written requests.
The ministry further added that because of the temporary downtime of the body’s system, the issuing of certificates of the issued salaries will be suspended that it earlier owed to the civil servants of the Central Administration. They have made it clear to the employees that every application that they have received via email or through the National Accountancy window will be attended to once the systems will be up working again.
Cyber-attacks also affected foreign trade
According to the reports issued by the government, the cyber-attacks have also affected foreign trade by attacking the tax and systems of customs. The situation has become a challenge for the newly elected president who assumed the charge of the office less than two weeks ago. The entire situation is declared a “national emergency”. He is blaming the previous president for not taking such attacks seriously.
At that time the hackers demanded a ransom of $10 million. This amount was asked one month back when the attacks started appearing. A government website states that by declaring a state of emergency, the government will be able to take extreme measures that otherwise would have required legislative approvals. The government can also allocate public funds to fight and capture the hackers responsible for it with no need for legislative approval.
The Conti hacking group has released a massive amount of data online that is somewhere around 600 gigabytes. The entire content is of government institutions and the group is further threatening to release more of it. The group has also threatened to delete the decryption keys that are needed to restore the government’s online system to normality if they don’t agree to pay within a week. As Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves Says the Country Is at War with Conti Hackers. It shows that the country is planning a serious fight against the hackers.