Cyber-data breaches have been the result for heightened security among individuals, businesses, and governments. This week, Costa Rica declared a state of emergency, as the ongoing result of a ransomware attack.
The Washington Post (WAPO) reports that early this week, Costa Rica was the victim of ransomware attacks that disrupted agencies for more than a month.
Russia-based ransomware gang, Conti, came forward as the perpetrator, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. Senior member of the group named, Stern, mentioned that someone ‘externally’ funds the group, in a 2020 Conti-members discussion, reported by WAPO.
At that meeting, Stern added that the benefactor wanted Conti to procure the current targets of Russia-based hacking group, Cozy Bear, also known as Advanced Persistent Threat 29 (APT29). Cozy Bear had been targeting pharmaceutical businesses and universities in the US, UK, and Canada, according to Wired.com.
According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a ransomware attack:
Ransomware is a form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption.”
The site provides StopRansomware.gov as the U.S. Government's official one-stop location for resources to tackle ransomware more effectively.
According to the Associated Press, the ransomware attack in Costa Rica, locked up multiple computers in the Labor and Finance ministries.
The weeks-long computer siege from the hackers, led to the declaring of a national emergency status. WAPO reports that some of the government files and computers are still rendered inaccessible from the ransomware attack, and that Conti was publishing government files on their website.
The Washington Post indicates that the United States is now offering $10 million in rewards for information leading to the bringing to justice Conti Ransomware Variant Co-Conspirators.
Protect yourself from ransomware attacks by visiting StopRansomware.gov, provided by CISA.