Argentina Is in a Fight with a Bitcoin Ransomware Group
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Argentina Is in a Fight with a Bitcoin Ransomware Group


We do not negotiate with terrorists… This is the bedrock principle of countries like the United States. We’ve heard these words uttered in several movies and even political briefings, and now the idea of staying vigilant in times of strife appears to be edging its way into the minds of several other nations, including Argentina.

Argentina Doesn’t Want to Give Up Its Bitcoin

Recently, the South American country had a little problem with cyberhackers. The country’s national migration agency was forced into a temporary shutdown not too long ago after cyberthieves gained control of the office’s computer networks and data and encrypted the information it held for ransom.

“Pay in bitcoin or pay in lost data” appeared to be the motto of the bad actors, but Argentina has apparently been standing its ground, refusing to budge in the face of terrorism, and at the time of writing, regulators claim that the cyberattack has been contained.

The incident resulted in the diminishment of several of Argentina’s migratory tactics, including border control. In addition, the Integrated Migration Capture System (SICaM) was also greatly affected, which temporarily resulted in many people either being unable to leave or enter the country.

However, in a statement issued during late August, the agency commented that the central infrastructure of the office was not affected by the hackers, nor was any corporate information stolen or compromised. At press time, however, it is unclear what this “corporate information” contains.

According to several Latin American news sources, the attack was performed by Netwalker, a group of ransomware hackers that allegedly demand bitcoin for the release of encrypted data to original owners. Initially, the hackers even sent many government officials a warning message that trying to regain access to their files without a “decryptor program” could potentially damage the data or make it “impossible to recover.”

From there, the group also posted some of the information it stole to the internet as proof that it was responsible for the attack and that the data was indeed in its hands. The hackers initially wanted $2 million in bitcoin in exchange for the information, though this amount was later doubled to $4 million for reasons unknown.

We’re Not Giving an Inch

At the time of writing, the agency says it has managed to bring the attack to a halt, though it is unclear if the organization has gotten any of its information back. Either way, reports suggest that the agency has not yet paid the requested fee, nor has it indicated that it will. It seems like Argentina is looking to finish the fight that another entity has started and is refusing to negotiate.

Live Bitcoin News will deliver more on this story should further developments be brought to light.

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Born in Bucharest, Marius is the founder of Crypto Adventure and Co-founder of Crypto Press. Since his first contact with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, he never stopped believing that they are one of the most important innovations of our time, which will forever change the way business is done.