Costa Ricans struggled to pay taxes by hand Monday after a ransomware cyberattack took down the country’s online tax collection system. Several Costa Rican government agencies, including its Ministry of Finance, are severely hampered after an international cybercriminal gang called Conti locked them in April and demanded a ransom payment to make them operable again. The country’s new leader, President Rodrigo Chaves, declared a state of emergency after the attack last week soon after being sworn in. Ransomware attacks have become commonplace in recent years, with cybercriminals often strategically attacking businesses and smaller government organizations at times when a shutdown would come at a high cost in order to incentivize victims to pay. Cybersecurity firm Emsisoft has estimated that ransomware attacks cost victims more than $600 million in the U.S. last year. But the attack on Costa Rica’s government is the largest known single criminal ransomware attack to date against one country’s government. Costa Ricans normally pay taxes through an online system, which is still inoperable with Ministry of Finance networks down. The country has delayed some tax deadlines until at least August because of the attack. But it’s still collecting a monthly value-added tax on sales and imports. With no option to pay the VAT online, the Ministry of Finance has instructed citizens to download a program called EDDI7, which only works on Windows operating systems, then fill in their tax information, print out a form and physically take that to a government-a . . . read the full article here.
Keywords: pay, costa, countrys, conti, tax, vargas, scrambled, attack, rican, system, ricans, taxes, took, hand, cyberattack
DATE: April, Monday, monthly, last week, last year, recent years, at least August, more than 20 years ago
NORP: Costa Rican, Costa Ricans
TIME: hours, 2 hours
MONEY: $10 million, $105 million, more than $600 million
CARDINAL: one, as high as