Cyberattacks force Costa Rica to declare a state of emergency

The declaration of a state of emergency was among President Rodrigo Chaves first acts after taking over as Costa Rica’s leader.

Cyberattacks have proved to be a problem for Costa Rica. Over the past month, the nation has seen extreme attacks, forcing it to declare a state of emergency.

The declaration of a state of emergency against increasing cyberattacks came about as one among President Rodrigo Chaves, first acts after assuming office. President Chaves was sworn in on Sunday. Normally, declaration of state of emergency is when natural disasters or Covid-19-like pandemics occur.

However, the cyberattacks scenario has turned out to be worrisome, forcing the nation’s administration to buckle up and fight the menace. The declaration of a state of emergency against cyberattacks is expected to aid the government to resort to effective means to deal with such a crisis.

Costa Rica suffers at the hands of cybercriminals

Though President Rodrigo Chaves made the emergency declaration, the members of the National Emergency Commission are yet to be named. Going by the declaration, the government has said Costa Rica is suffering at the hands of cybercriminals and cyberterrorists.

Costa Rica faced the first attack in the month of April, when the country’s Finance Ministry had reported that many of its systems were breached. These include systems that were responsible for tax collection and customs. Besides, cyberattacks had been carried out by the gang against Costa Rica’s social security agency’s human resources system and also the Labour Ministry.

Though the attacks failed to create much of an impact, it is still not known how far the attackers would go. However, the losses accrued post the attacks are yet to be ascertained. Though the attacks had created much of a scare, the country had reiterated that it would not pay the attacker gang any ransom, whatsoever.

Conti gang responsible for hundreds of ransomware

Attacks had been carried out over the past few months, and a Russian-speaking Conti gang had claimed responsibility for the act. It needs to be noted that the Conti gang is under the radar of scrutiny by the U.S. State Department, and it had offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the identification or location of the cybercriminal leaders.

Meanwhile, the Conti gang has been termed by the US State Department as responsible for hundreds of ransomware incidents that occurred over the past two years. As per FBI estimates, there had been over 1,000 victims of attacks associated with Conti ransomware, and that victim pay-outs had shot past the $150,000,000-mark. That actually gives a clear picture on the potent harm that the Conti Ransomware variant has been making.

In Costa Rica, the attacks could be seen as extreme problems that need extreme solutions. The declaration of the state of emergency by President Rodrigo Chaves as soon as he took over for a new term displays the urgency of the matter and the need to wipe out such cybercrime.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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