Ransomware attack hits Sri Lanka government, causing data loss

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Sri Lanka's Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) is presently investigating a ransomware onslaught connected nan government's unreality infrastructure that affected astir 5,000 email accounts, it revealed connected Tuesday.

While a LinkedIn station from CERT cited unreality infrastructure, an alert uploaded to nan organization's website connected Monday specified that an onslaught was made connected nan authorities email system.

On Sunday, local media reported that nan country's Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) had confirmed a terrible information nonaccomplishment incident for each authorities offices utilizing nan gov.lk email domain – including nan Cabinet Office, statesmanlike officials, nan Ministry of Education and nan Ministry of Health.

The breach is believed to person occurred sometime betwixt May 17 and nan day it was discovered: August 26. The onslaught reportedly besides compromised backup servers.

As location was nary backup strategy for 2 months, immoderate mislaid emails are unrecoverable. ICTA has reportedly now instituted regular offline backup protocols.

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The attackers apt gained entree to authorities systems utilizing phishing schemes targeting civilian servants, and took advantage of nan usage of outdated software. The authorities was utilizing Microsoft Exchange 2013, for which its shaper stopped support connected April 11 this year.

CEO of ICTA, Mahesh Perera, reportedly admitted that updates to nan strategy were targeted for 2021 but delayed owed to fund constraints. He besides made clear location was nary volition to discuss immoderate ransom.

Sri Lanka ranks 83rd retired of 175 countries successful nan National Cyber Security Index. In May of this year, it confirmed it would yet create a cyber information authority. The authority was established done nan country's Cyber Security Bill arsenic portion of a wider strategy.

At that time, Sri Lanka CERT president Rohan Muttiah told The Register Sri Lanka had an existing strategy covering nan play 2019–2023. "We are being assisted successful this implementation by Cyber4Dev that is funded by nan European Union," he said. ®