Latest cyberattack in Costa Rica targets hospital system

The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) said a cyber attack targeted hospitals and clinics in Costa Rica early Tuesday morning, in the latest in a series of hacks targeting the Central American country in recent weeks.

The Public Health Agency reports that the cyber attack forced the CCSS to shut down its digital record-keeping system, affecting about 1,200 hospitals and clinics and potentially affecting the care of thousands of patients.

“It was an exceptionally violent attack, but we have no evidence that a critical database or system has been compromised,” CCSS head Alvaro Ramos said at a press conference, adding that 30 of the 1,500 CCSS-owned servers were affected.

Ramos said the national health platform is expected to be down for several days.

Costa Rica reported that it had recently been hit by dozens of cyber attacks, which have frozen some foreign trade and tax collection operations, prompting President Rodrigo Chavez to declare a national emergency on May 8, his inauguration day.

In early May, the US State Department attributed other recent attacks on Costa Rica’s government agencies to the alleged Russia-based ransomware group, Conte. Ramos said he has not given any person or group credit for the latest blow to the health care system.

Officials said the United States, along with the governments of Israel and Spain, offered help to repair the damage and fend off future attacks.


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