Costa Rica declares state of emergency following cyber-attacks on Russian officials – News

President Rodrigo Chaves, who took office on Sunday, considered the statement released on Wednesday to be one of his first official writings, although he did not nominate members of the National Emergency Committee.

The declaration of emergency, which is usually set aside to deal with natural disasters or pandemics, says the attack facing Costa Rica is due to “cybercriminals” and “cyber-terrorists.”

Russian-speaking group Conti took charge of the attack, and last week the U.S. State Department offered a $ 10 million reward for information leading to the identification or location of its leaders.

The attacks in Costa Rica began in April, when the Ministry of Finance was the first to announce that several of its systems, including tax collection and customs systems, had been affected.

The attacks also targeted the social security personnel system and the Ministry of Labor.

The Costa Rican government did not report on the scale of the attack or provide an estimate of the damage done, but some systems, particularly the Ministry of Finance, are still not functioning normally.

Carlos Alvarado, who was president at the start of the attacks, said Costa Rica would not pay a ransom for this “kybergang.”

In a statement issued last week, the U.S. State Department said the Conti group was responsible for hundreds of blackmail cases over the past two years. access to information for victims).

“The FBI estimates that by January 2022, there have been more than 1,000 victims of attacks on the Conti Group’s“ ransom programs, ”and the payments to victims have exceeded $ 150 million. [148,5 milhões de euros]what makes this “ransomware version” the most expensive ever documented, “the statement said.

In addition to the state of emergency caused by cyber attacks, Chaves also abolished the use of pandemic-related masks in public places and issued a decree urging public agencies not to punish workers who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, overturning the practice of your predecessor.

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