Hackers launched cyber attack using the ransom-ware virus against Inter American Press Association (SIP), based in Miami, and to release the information they demanded payment in bitcoin cryptocurrency, but that organization chose to hand the case to the FBI instead.
The IAPA said on Thursday that the attack was detected on Monday, November 21st and took them by total surprise at a time when they were taking steps to move and store its data to Cloud, according to the recommendation of computer experts.
The attack affected daily operations, but the process of evaluating and recovering the kidnapped information is ongoing, he said.
“We are still evaluating the damage and how to recover all our information and files dating back more than 60 years. We will never stop preparing ourselves as best we can for this type of criminal incursions, “assured the president of the SIP, Gustavo Mohme, director of the newspaper La República de Lima, Peru.
The executive director of the SIP, Ricardo Trotti, said that the virus affected files and work documents, some of them of historical value, but did not compromised the accounting and financial information of the organization.
He explained that the SIP has servers for their websites outside the internal network, so not all the information was affected.
The organization was waiting for a response from local authorities and FBI after the cyber attack.
The former president of the SIP, Matthew Sanders, recalled that a few weeks ago the issue of cyber security was a central focus of an annual assembly held in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Cyber attacks against the media are intensifying and are becoming more common. Sometimes with the intention of restricting freedom of expression and press, affecting the work of journalists and others for economic reasons as happened on this occasion, “said Sanders.
During the SIP meeting in Salt Lake City, panelists made recommendations such as prioritizing different levels of information, and from editorial content to the identity of journalists, as well as fostering basic and staggered security habits.
Vulnerability in the Digital Era
At the international level this year, there have been attacks with ransomware and also, the WannaCry virus against public, commercial and telecommunications institutions in the USA, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, China and Russia, which has uncovered vulnerability of individuals and institutions in the digital era.
The semi-annual press freedom reports of the IAPA revealing different types of cyber attacks against media within the region.
On January 10th, a Mexican newspaper El Economista reported that six out of ten native digital media outlets in the country have suffered some type of cyber attack.
The newspaper based its report on a study by SembraMedia and the Omidyar Network.
Although this is now before the authorities, and cyber attacks being a priority, the police recognize that they can not do much based on the magnitude of the problem. In addition, they admit that their resources have not been updated, while digital crimes are increasingly getting more and more sophisticated.