Government of Costa Rica preventively deactivates some of its digital platforms after cyber attacks

The threat of cyber attacks in Latin America 0:57 (CNN Spanish) – The Government of Costa Rica reported this Wednesday at a press conference that some official digital platforms suffered cyber attacks, which led to the application of a contingency plan and preventive deactivation . The Ministries of Finance and of Science, Innovation, Technology and Telecommunications, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), the National Meteorological Institute (IMN) and Costa Rican Radiographic Institute (Racsa), are the institutions that until this Wednesday were affected by attacks in some of their systems. At the press conference, the Minister of Science, Paola Vega, said that in the case of this institution only alterations were detected in the contents of the web page, while in the IMN and Racsa the attack occurred on email servers. . In the CCSS it was the human resources portal that was affected. However, Vega assured that the situation is under control, that all the institutions are in constant communication and that there is a specialized group that works to deal with each of the cases with the support of international agencies and friendly countries. The director of Digital Governance of the Ministry of Science, Jorge Mora, stressed that the digitization of activities represents benefits, but also dangers. Mora added that Costa Rica has cybersecurity equipment and systems throughout the country and that a strategy on this issue has been applied since 2017. “It is a strategy that did not remain on paper, but has been worked on, but the risks will continue.” Regarding who would be responsible for the cyberattacks, Mora said that it was in what is known as the “dark web” – the dark web – where a US$10 million collection request was published from the government by the Conti group. , who was supposed to be responsible. The Minister of the Presidency, Geannina Dinarte, was emphatic in pointing out that the country has a firm position and that she rejects any extortion or reward payment. Cyberattacks on the Ministry of Finance In the same press conference, the Minister of Finance, Elian Villegas, reported that one of the systems affected is the Information Technology for Customs Control (TICA) program, linked to all exports and imports of the country, so the priority now is to recover it. “Right now we don’t have a system so we are working manually,” he said. He pointed out that the ATV programs, for taxation, and Integra, for payments, were also affected. Villegas also asked the country’s large taxpayers, which he calculated at 1,000 and who concentrate 70% of the collection, to pay their taxes using the form called D-110 available in this entity. “We meet with importers and exporters and they have a proactive position, to locate themselves in the historical moment and seek a joint solution,” said the minister.