Bermuda’s premier attributes system outages to ‘Russia-based’ attackers

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The premier of Bermuda said the island and another Caribbean government are currently dealing with a cyberattack that prompted several announcements about damaged internet and phone infrastructure.

During a press conference on Thursday, Bermuda Premier David Burt confirmed that a cyberattack from actors based in Russia was the cause of widespread internet outages affecting all government agencies and more.

“It remains to be seen but clearly there’s something external that is affecting government services and the initial indications is that this is Russia-based,” Burt said. “We now know of other jurisdictions in the Caribbean [affected].” He did not specify what those were.

The press conference came after the government published messages on social media explaining that it is “currently experiencing internet/email and phone service interruptions.”

“All Departments are impacted. The Department of Information and Digital Technology (IDT) is working quickly to restore service,” the government said Thursday morning. Later it said the service disruptions would continue through Friday.

“Investigation into the incident continues and steps to restore service are ongoing. Work to facilitate payroll and vendor payments has commenced albeit payment delays are expected,” the government explained. “Cashiers are accepting cash and checks only at this time. Government House has been apprised of the situation and is working collaboratively with the government.”

As of Friday afternoon, the government website was down. Bermuda is a self-governing British Overseas Territory.

Burt said the Department of Information and Digital Technology is working with the Ministry of National Security, which handles most cybersecurity issues. They are also coordinating with officials from least one other foreign country providing them with assistance.

“We are trying to identify which systems are affected and which ones are not so that we can return to servicing people’s needs,” Burt added.

Burt claimed there is no evidence that data has been stolen, but Bermuda was forced to postpone a session of the House of Assembly.

A government spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.

Ransomware gangs have made a point of going after Caribbean governments over the last year.

Martinique, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic and Guadeloupe have all dealt with ransomware attacks in the last year while Costa Rica — a Central American country along the Caribbean Sea — faced a wide-ranging incident affecting several parts of its government.

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Jonathan Greig is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.

 

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