27/06/2022

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New Costa Rica president announces national cyber assault emergency

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica: President Rodrigo Chaves, who was sworn in as president on May 8, has declared a state of emergency in Costa Rica following a month of ransomware computer attacks.

Chaves, who said Costa Rica is suffering at the hands of “cybercriminals” and “cyberterrorists”, has yet to name the members of the National Emergency Commission.

The attacks began in April when the Finance Ministry reported that a number of its systems were affected, including tax collections and customs. Attacks also targeted the social security agency’s human resources system and Labor Ministry.

Some systems, especially at the Finance Ministry, still are not functioning normally.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department said last week, that the Russian-speaking Conti gang had been responsible for hundreds of ransomware incidents during the past two years.

In addition to the ransomware state of emergency, Chaves also eliminated the use of Covid face masks in public spaces and issued a decree that urged public institutions not to sanction officials who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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