Argentinian Immigration Agency Hit by NetWalker Ransomware Attack
Argentinian Immigration Agency Hit by NetWalker Ransomware Attack

As per a complaint filing and report from BleepingComputer, Argentina’s immigration agency was hit by NetWalker ransomware. It was discovered by the agency in August when they started receiving numerous calls for technical support and later shut down all the systems to avoid infecting more. The ransomware group is touted to be asking about $4 million in Bitcoin for the decryptor.

Argentina’s Immigration Process Halted Due to Ransomware Attack

Dirección Nacional de Migraciones, Argentina’s official immigration agency has suffered a ransomware attack that hindered the nation’s cross-border travels for a while. This is the first time a cyberattack has halted nation-wide operations. This incident was reported by Unidad Fiscal Especializada en Ciberdelincuencia, Argentina’s cybercrime agency later.

From the reports, the Directorate of Technology and Communications under the Directorate General Information Systems and Technologies has started receiving numerous calls from various checkpoints for technical support on August 27th, around 7 AM. This was realised later as an extraordinary situation, thus shut down all other systems in the network immediately.

NetWalker's ransom demanding page.
NetWalker’s ransom demanding page. Via: BleepingComputer

The agency has realized that the infrastructure of the Central Data Center and Servers were impacted by a virus, that had affected the systems of “MS Windows-based files (ADAD SYSVOL and SYSTEM CENTER DPM mainly) and Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, etc.) existing in users’ jobs and shared folders“, the complaint read.

And as per Infobae, the shut down of systems has halted the border crossing movements for four hours, until the systems were brought back online. From the other side, a report from BleepingComputer reveals the posts of NetWalker ransomware in their dark web portal, where the group has initially quoted a sum of $2 million worth Bitcoin as ransom.

But this was increased to $4 million in Bitcoin after a week since the agency hasn’t responded to them. In a statement to Infobae, the immigration agency revealed that they have no intention of negotiating with the ransomware attackers nor concerned about getting the stolen data back! NetWalker, on the other hand, is armed with stolen data to leak.

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