In recent years cyber-attacks have started to become the new norm. Following all the recent compromises, it became clear that threat actors would go out of their way to profit any way possible. Even charity and support organizations like the Red-Cross have been recently targeted. Last week, Costa Rica's government fell victim to the latest cyber-attack.
The breach initially started with an attack on the governments finance ministry. This caused the organization to shut down for a good part of the day causing major bottlenecks. This put government employee salaries, pensions and loots of other services on hold. Extensions for tax payments were also handed made.
Government files have been compromised and locked, waiting for a ransom to be paid. The threat actors are demanding a payment worth $10 Million in order too let the government of the hook. According to official sources, the threat actors accessed taxpayers history. Carlos Alvarado, the president of the country made a comment on the situation. He stated that not a single penny will be paid to the threat actors. The infamous, Russian speaking, Conti gang claimed responsibility for the attacks. Despite that, the government has not confirmed any of the claims.
The Citizens Experience
Many Costa Rican citizens are worries about the latest attack. Many businesses provide confidential data to the government for patents and other legal reasons. Business owners are now worries that the information could now be at risk. The average citizen is also slightly worried about the affects this breach can have on them. Most are concerned specifically about their bank details being leaked, and used to wipe accounts clean.
So far, the country has suffered a loss of over $200 Million, mostly due to the finance ministry being shut down. Tax platforms remain offline, creating a major bottleneck in trade. Other services around the country have also been affected. The border agency has been forced to operate some of its borders manually, delaying lines. Alvarado said that the government is working really hard to asses and manage the whole situation.
Year over year, cyber attacks have been getting worse. From becoming more common, to targeting whole countries, recent events teach us a lesson. Cyber-security needs to be taken seriously everywhere and by everyone. So far, Costa Rica has been suffering the consequences of this breach for over a week. It is unclear when the country will full recover, and how many dollars will be lost.