A group of mysterious hackers who have been identified as NetWalker recently compromised Argentina’s immigration agency computer networks to alter border crossing and had demanded a ransom of $4 Million in Bitcoin.
NetWalker is a ransomware operative that earmarks corporate computer networks, they operate by encrypting or putting a password on Microsoft applications such as Excel, Word, and Office belonging to their Victim’s network, after which they would demand a ransom in exchange for the password.
The attack which puts immigration offices and control posts out of services for four hours was initially reported on the 27th of August by the Argentinean Government after receiving countless calls from the various border checkpoints with complaints that their computer network has been hijacked.
Authorities of Argentina’s immigration agency, Dirección Nacional de Migraciones (DNM) discovered that their computer systems, shared folders as well as Microsoft applications were attacked by an unidentified virus within a twinkle of an eye, in the bid to avert further propagation into the systems by the unknown virus, the authorities immediately shut down the central server.
As a result of this action taken by the Argentinean border authorities, all immigration offices and control posts across the country were out of service for four hours, the DNM in its explanation noted that there was a delay in the entry and exit to Argentinean National territories because the Comprehensive Migration Capture System (SICaM) a device that controls internal crossing was particularly affected during the attack.
Nonetheless, Netwalker after being identified to have perpetrated the hack sent a payment message through a Tor network page to demand a ransom of $2 million which was later changed to $4 million in BTC after seven days.
Howbeit, the Argentinean Border Authorities in an interview with a local news outlet declared that they are not interested in negotiating with the hackers and that they are not bordered about regaining the compromised data.