Ransomware Attack Hits PNG Finance Ministry

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A cyberattack on Papua New Guinea’s finance ministry briefly disrupted government payments and operations, officials said late Thursday.

Ransomware infiltrated and compromised a core server at the department of finance last week, hampering the government’s access to foreign aid, its ability to pay cheques and carry out other basic functions in the midst of a spiralling Covid-19 surge.

“The department has now managed to fully restore the system, however, because of the risk, we are playing safe by not allowing full usage of the affected network,” said John Pundari, acting treasurer.

Pundari said the department “did not pay any ransom to the purported hacker or any of its third party agents. We have managed to restore normalcy.”

The attack took place in the middle of the night on October 22.

The platform controls budgeting and financing for the entire Papua New Guinea government.

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© AFP 2020

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