A hacker group called Netwalker, recently, broke into the immigration system of Argentina, and weaken its cross-border movement for a temporary basis. The group demanded the government to pay a $4 million bitcoin ransom.
On August 27, the cross-border movement of Argentina was stopped for at least four hours because a cybercriminal group named Netwalker hacked the country’s immigration agency, Dirección Nacional de Migraciones.
Netwalker Doubled Its Demand
On September 06, Bleeping Computers published a report stating that the hackers stole some of the sensitive data from the government agency’s site and asked them to pay a million dollars ransom in Bitcoin before they decrypt the data.
As per the report, initially the hacker group Netwalker demanded the government to pay Bitcoin worth $2 million, but later they doubled their demand and now they have asked the government to pay $4 million worth of Bitcoin.
Although the hackers have stolen the information and demanding ransom, the government agency is neither planning to negotiate nor does it would be paying the ransom to the cybercriminals.
Recently, a local publication in Argentina, Infobae, in its report has stated that according to the government officials, the critical infrastructure of the immigration agency has not been compromised by the hackers and the information stolen by them is not sensitive.
Argentinian Immigration Agency To Not Pay Ransom
Maria Eugenia Lachalde, the immigration agency’s lawyer, has recently stated that neither the authorities would negotiate with the hackers nor are they much concerned about the stolen data.
Lachalde further mentioned that the Netwalkers did compromise the agency’s site but it only affected the normal operations of it.
As soon as the agency recognized that its server has been compromised, it shut all of the systems of the immigration department in order to prevent malware spread.
As all of the systems have been shut, the cross-border operations were also stopped for at least four hours.
On August 27, while making an SOS call to a higher official at the immigration department, the official said,
“The team realized that it was not an ordinary situation, and evaluated the Central Data and Distributed Servers infrastructure, noting the activity of a virus that had affected the system’s MS Windows-based files and Microsoft Office files in users’ jobs and shared folders.”