Costa Rica Declares National Emergency Following Conti Cyber-Attack
After suffering from a cyberattack perpetrated by the notorious Conti ransomware gang, Costa Rica’s government has declared a national emergency. The Conti group is believed to be linked to the Russian state, and has publicly claimed responsibility for the incident. The Conti group allegedly disrupted IT systems spanning several Costa Rican ministries and threatened to publish the data stolen in the attack online. The events have severely impacted the country’s foreign trade by disrupting its processes for customs and taxes. Since the attack, the Conti group reportedly leaked 97% of the stolen data.
The national state of emergency was signed by newly-elected President Rodrigo Chaves. This marks the first time a government has reacted in such a manner to the cyberattack. Chaves declared that the attack was an act of cyber terrorism against Cost Rica, prompting the decree. The incident occurred on April 18, and it is unclear whether the attackers’ motives were political or financial in nature. Founder of OPSWAT Benny Czarny commented on the attacks, stating that it is likely that the Conti group saw opportunity for destruction in Costa Rica due to the shift in government and seized the opportunity.