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Hacker demands $8 million ransom after cyber attack on Indonesia's data center

cyber attack

Indonesia's national data center faced a significant cyberattack, disrupting services at hundreds of government offices and causing long delays at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

The hacker, utilizing software from Russian ransomware group LockBit, demanded an $8 million ransom, officials reported Monday.

The attack led to long queues at immigration gates last week when the systems went down. Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, a senior official from the communications ministry, revealed that the cyberattack affected 210 national and local institutions. The hacker, operating on the dark web, made the ransom demand.

Pangerapan stated that immigration services were resuming normal operations by Monday morning, and efforts were underway to restore other disrupted services. The authorities are investigating the ransomware, identified as Brain Cipher, which encrypted and made government data inaccessible.

LockBit and its affiliates are notorious for targeting governments, major corporations, schools, and hospitals, causing billions in damages and extorting millions in ransoms. Their ransomware encrypts the target's files and data, freezing systems until the ransom is paid.

Recently, the United States, Britain, and Australia imposed sanctions on the leader of LockBit, holding the group responsible for extorting billions from thousands of victims. LockBit accounted for a quarter of all ransomware attacks globally last year, extorting over $1 billion from victims worldwide, according to the UK government. The top countries hit by LockBit were the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and China, as noted by Europol.

Indonesia has a history of weak cybersecurity, with frequent data breaches and poor online literacy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, researchers from vpnMentor revealed that the data of 1.3 million users of a government test-and-trace app had been compromised. This incident followed the alleged leak of data belonging to over 200 million participants of the National Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan).

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TAGS:Cyber AttackCyber Crime
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