back to article Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?

The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom.  Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's …

  1. druck Silver badge

    The Biden administration recently announced additional funding for post-quantum encryption research, which aims to develop a form of protecting sensitive data so secure that even a quantum computer couldn't crack it.

    Quantum Computing is the new Strategic Defence Initiative (Star Wars) which if achieved threatens to completely neutralise the other sides capability, causing them to bankrupt themselves trying to get theirs working first. As with Star Wars, one side knows it's all bollocks and will never work, so the question is who looks like they are wasting billions on this, but actually isn't?

  2. ThatOne Silver badge

    The NSA promises more backdoors

    > the NSA promises no more backdoors

    Somehow I missed the tiny little "no" at first... Maybe because it is so absolutely unexpected and totally unbelievable right in the middle of the general worldwide "War on Crypto"?

    The obvious solution is to allow real crypto to those who deserve it (campaigns cost money!), and fob off the rest of the paedos population with weak crypto any script kiddy could break, they don't have any important (for us) secrets anyway.

    1. Clausewitz4.0 Bronze badge

      Re: The NSA promises more backdoors

      You will get huge support, backing strong encryption for politicians and weak encryption for the general population. Money too.

      EFF and other NGOs may not be so happy with you, though..

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: The NSA promises more backdoors

        > EFF and other NGOs may not be so happy with you, though.

        My point: Nobody important to the decision makers gets hurt. On the contrary, it allows to keep a wary eye on those unruly NGOs who often don't simply accept to just slave away unpaid.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: The NSA promises more backdoors

      I think people are misunderstanding the NSA. They don't care about issues. If anything, they probably worry about legislated backdoors because they are known and not exclusive to the NSA. They want any and all information, regardless of how mundane it is. And they will store it all in case they want to use it in the future.

      Number 2: "We want information." Number 6: "You won't get it." Number 2: "By hook or by crook, we will."

  3. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    "There are no [post-quantum-encryption] back doors"

    That was 100% true - at the instant he said it. Later on, however ...

    And even if the spec is backdoor free, the implementations might not~will not be backdoor-free.

  4. OhForF' Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    If the NSA does no longer want a back door it is probably time to look at the security of Windows

    1. julian.smith

      Windows security

      Windows security is an oxymoron

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The overthrow of Costa Rica's government appears to have been prevented for the time being, after the government offered a 3 month free trial to the attackers.

    The president reportedly told attackers that the keys were in a fake rock just outside the Ministry of Finance, and please try not to throw up on Monika's rug like those Salvadorean crypto bros.

  6. Cederic Silver badge

    Costa Rica army

    Costa Rica has no army - people I worked with there are proud of this too.

    Which means an attack by Russia could be a close run thing. I think I'd still back Costa Rica though.

    1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

      Re: Costa Rica army

      Is kind of funny and kind of sad hearing the president talk about "war" when we effectively have no defensive capabilities whatsoever in the meatspace[1] and much less in the cyberspace.

      The timing of this attack was odd to say the least. It started 2 weeks before the new President took office, right after an extremely nasty electoral campaign.

      I wonder if any of the sides involved[2] tried to hire Conti for their own purposes, and the hacker gang simply saw the opportunity to attack the government en-masse after assessing our security measures (or lack thereof). So far they have managed to attack several ministries, public banks, municipalities and tax systems with different levels of impact.

      [1] a few years ago there were problems in the border, and the national armory, managed to muster one single heavy machine gun: a M60 that had been abandoned in the country since the Contras civil war in Nicaragua in the early 80s. No one knew whether there was ammunition for it.

      [2] there were 25 candidates in the first round, I kid you not. Some of them rather shady.

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