June 27
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An extortionist gang that has infiltrated some of Costa Rica's government computer systems is threatening to overthrow the government, the AP reports.

The Conti gang attacked Costa Rica in April, gaining access to several critical systems at the Ministry of Finance, including customs and tax collection. Other government systems have also been affected, and a month later they are not all fully functioning.

President Rodrigo Chavez declared a state of emergency over the attack as soon as he was sworn in last week. The U.S. State Department has offered a $10 million reward for information that will help identify or locate Conti leaders.

“We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency," the gang said in response.

The gang also said it was raising the ransom demand to $20 million, calling on Costa Ricans to pressure the government to pay.

The attack encrypted government data, and the gang said Saturday that if the ransom is not paid within one week, it will remove the decryption keys.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement last week that the Conti group was responsible for hundreds of ransomware incidents over the past two years.

“The FBI estimates that as of January 2022, there had been over 1,000 victims of attacks associated with Conti ransomware with victim payouts exceeding $150,000,000, making the Conti Ransomware variant the costliest strain of ransomware ever documented,” the statement said.

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