“The information of millions of people is in the hands of criminals,” the government says.
Experts believe the effects of the attack could last three to six months.
According to reports from the South American country, the hackers responsible for a ransomware attack that affected more than 34 government offices in Colombia are demanding a ransom be paid in cryptocurrencies.
This has been reported since last Tuesday, September 12th Outages in the web portals of the Justice Department and the Ministry of Healththe Industry and Commerce Regulatory Authority and many other government bodies, all victims of the massive attack.
The information was confirmed by the Colombian Ombudsman Carlos Camargo Assis, through a statement classified the situation as “extremely serious”. He added that the cyber attack makes us think about the technological sovereignty of the country and its countries Reliance on third-party services that process the data of millions of people.
The Colombian government and its internet provider, the company IFX Network, have initiated an emergency plan. Because of this 55 million pieces of data remain hijacked by the multiple attack According to information, more than 20 private organizations are also affected report Local media.
According to Saúl Kattan, the problem was placed in the hands of the Unified Cybersecurity Command Post (PMU Ciber), which consists of “technological experts at the highest level in the world.” The government advisor on digital transformation also leads the group responsible for investigating the attack and dealing with the aftermath, which experts say could take between 3 and 6 months.
Millions of data kidnapped in Colombia
Kattan said to El País that “Millions of people’s information is currently in the hands of criminals“ and warned that “the health system is under control”.
He explained that many health centers’ websites were down, meaning patients couldn’t make appointments and doctors couldn’t access medical records. The same thing is happening with the justice system and other institutions in the country.
Specifically the attack It started when software attacked several IFX Networks virtual machines in Colombia, the company confirmed in an official statement.
“This attack can be considered the largest attack on infrastructure in Colombia in recent years. “This is why the urgent creation of the National Security and Space Affairs Agency is important.” wrote Kattan on Twitter.
When asked about cybercriminals’ claims, Kattan said this is usually the case They intend to get some money back in exchange for publishing the hijacked information.
And from what is known about the hackers’ modus operandi, the claims are usually demanded in cryptocurrencies, although in this particular case the amount required or the type of crypto asset chosen is unknown.
He gave no indication that the government intended to make payments to the kidnappers. He said only that “technical resources will be deployed to resolve the issue and the assistance of the prosecutor’s office and other agencies will be considered to address the matter at a legal level.”
As CriptoNoticias reported last April, a report from Kaspersky suggested this The hackers stole cryptocurrencies worth around $400,000 in the first months of 2023. To do this, they used the Clipper malware, which interferes with the computer’s clipboard.