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Paraguay military warns of ‘significant impact’ of ransomware after attack on internet provider

The Paraguayan military published a warning over the weekend about the dangers of ransomware after one of the country’s top internet providers reported wide-ranging issues from a cyberattack.

The country’s General Directorate of Information and Communication Technologies — an agency within the armed forces known by its acronym Digetic — published an official alert on Sunday explaining that ransomware is having a “significant impact, compromising backups, web pages, emails and cloud storage.”

While the statement said the notice is “purely information and not linked to any particular case,” it comes immediately after a ransomware attack hit internet provider Tigo.

Local media outlets reported that the military sent out a private notice about the attack, noting that it was claimed by the Black Hunt ransomware group and impacted more than 300 companies.

Tigo released its own statement on the issue after rumors of the attack continued to spread.

The company confirmed that on January 4 it became the victim of a security incident affecting infrastructure and the “normal supply of some specific services to a limited number of corporate customers.”

The company denied the scope of affected companies, however, and said that the Black Hunt group was not behind the attack.

“Much of the information about this case is strictly of a confidential nature and for private companies, which is why more details cannot be provided,” they said.

“We point out that, outside of the specific services of the corporate segment cited, no internet, phone or wallet services have been affected. From the very beginning, the entire company has devoted efforts, resources and teams to solve this situation.”

Tigo said it is working with each company to restore services and noted that it is working with government agencies on the issue.

Tigo was the first mobile phone company in Paraguay and currently serves about half of the country’s 6.7 million residents.

The attack resembles one that took place in October, where a ransomware gang attacked one of the largest telecommunications companies in Chile, prompting the country’s government and military to release urgent warnings about ransomware.

Ransomware groups continue to show little fear in directly attacking government or key institutions and over the past few years several Latin America and Caribbean nations have been hit.

In addition to Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda, Martinique, and more have dealt with ransomware incidents since 2020.

There were also several other rumored attacks on South American nations that were never confirmed.

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig

is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.