The Conti ransomware gang invites to overthrow the Costa Rican government


The Conti ransomware gang has threatened to overthrow the Costa Rican government after demanding the country pay $10 million to unlock imperative government systems compromised by a cyberattack last week.

According to AP, the association has increased the pressure on the Costa Rican authorities to pay a ransom, increasing its demand to 20 million dollars. However, it is still unclear why the ransomware gang specifically targets this country.

Yesterday, President Rodrigo Chaves declared at a press conference that the attack is coming from both inside and external of Costa Rica. He stressed that the nation was at war and that the authorities were fighting a national terrorist association with collaborators inside the country. The president noted that the impact of the cyberattack was far-reaching, affecting 27 government entities, including utility companies. Chaves, who has been in office for less than a week, accused former President Carlos Alvarado of not investing enough in cybersecurity and responding to attacks during the last days of his administration.

Conti warned Costa Rica that he has privileged information from the government, according to a statement released yesterday. He stressed that the country had less than a week to pay the ransom before destroying the unlock keys of the machines affected by the ransomware. The group stated that it was aware that the government had hired a data recovery specialist and warned him not to seek alternative solutions.

“I once again appeal to the inhabitants of Costa Rica to take to the streets and demand payment,” said Conti’s message. “Any other attempt to receive in touch through other services will be punished with the deletion of the key. I appeal to all Costa Ricans to go to their government and organize rallies so that they pay us as soon as possible. Provided your current government cannot stabilize the situation, what alternatives do you have? Is it worth changing the government?

President Chaves announced a state of emergency on May 8 after the Conti ransomware infected Costa Rica in April. Initially, the full impact of the attack was unknown, but it hurt the Public Treasury, which was left without digital services and was forced to rely on manual processes to carry out its functions. Conti demanded a $10 million ransom and noted that around 97% of the data he had acquired, a complete of 672 GB, had been released.

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