Security Market Segment LS
Thursday, 12 May 2022 08:51

Costa Rica declares emergency after Windows ransomware Conti strike Featured

Costa Rica declares emergency after Windows ransomware Conti strike Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The government of Costa Rica has declared a state of emergency after a number of state agencies, including the finance ministry, were hit by the Windows ransomware strain known as Conti.

An announcement on Wednesday said the emergency was warranted due to cyber crimes that had affected the structure of information systems of different institutions.

The initial attack on 12 April breached the finance ministry. Other agencies like science, technology and telecommunications, and the national meteorological institute were also hit.

The attackers are claimed to have stolen more than 670GB of data and have been leaking the information since mid-April.

Conti can attack all versions of Microsoft Windows and has been around since 2020. On Friday, the US Government offered a reward of US$10 million (A$14.41 million) for information leading to the identification and location of any of the people behind the ransomware.

"The FBI estimates that as of January 2022, there had been over 1000 victims of attacks associated with Conti ransomware with victim payouts exceeding US$150,000,000, making the Conti ransomware variant the costliest strain of ransomware ever documented," the State Department said in the notice offering the reward.

There has been a general dropoff in ransomware attacks following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but Conti has been an exception.

The CIA-backed tech news website The Record said Conti was responsible for about 50 attacks during April, the highest by far for any of the group that target Microsoft's operating system.

Ransomware threat researcher Brett Callow told iTWire that this attack could well be the most serious ransomware incident to date.

"I believe it’s the first time a cyber attack has resulted in a national state of emergency being declared," he added. "Seemingly, the attack has affected everything from impact and export processes to the government’s ability to collect taxes."

Callow, who works with the New Zealand-headquartered security shop Emsisoft, said actions against ransomware gangs by US Cyber Command and law enforcement agencies in both the US and Europe had been increasingly successful.

"While that’s good news for organisations in those countries, it may not be good news for organisations in other countries as the gangs may perceive them to be less risky targets," he noted.

Read 1167 times

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here


The past year has seen a meteoric rise in ransomware incidents worldwide.

Over the past 12 months, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers have diligently tracked the meteoric rise in cyberattacks, as well as trends and activity across all threat vectors, including:

Encrypted threats
IoT malware
Zero-day attacks and more

These exclusive findings are now available via the 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, which ensures SMBs, government agencies, enterprises and other organizations have the actionable threat intelligence needed to combat the rising tide of cybercrime.

Click the button below to get the report.



It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.


Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News