Sat | Jul 2, 2022

Costa Rica declares emergency in ongoing cyber attack

Published:Friday | May 13, 2022 | 2:53 PM
In theory, the measure usually reserved to deal with natural disasters or the COVID-19 pandemic would free up the government to react more nimbly to the crisis.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — After a month of crippling ransomware attacks, Costa Rica has declared a state of emergency.

In theory, the measure usually reserved to deal with natural disasters or the COVID-19 pandemic would free up the government to react more nimbly to the crisis.

President Rodrigo Chaves, who was sworn in Sunday, made the emergency declaration one of his first acts.

It was published Wednesday, but Chaves has not named the members of the National Emergency Commission.

The declaration refers to the attack Costa Rica is suffering at the hands of “cybercriminals” and “cyberterrorists.”

The Russian-speaking Conti gang had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Last week, the US State Department offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the identification or location of Conti leaders.

The attack began in April when the Finance Ministry was the first to report that a number of its systems were affected including tax collection and customs.

Attacks also targeted the social security agency's human resources system and Labour Ministry.

The Costa Rican government has not reported an expansion of the attack, but some systems, especially at the Finance Ministry, still are not functioning normally. The government has also not made an estimate of the losses caused by the attack.

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