Kuwait isolates some government systems following attack on its finance ministry

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Kuwait’s government is recovering from a ransomware attack that hit its finance ministry.

The ransomware attack started on September 18 and government officials immediately attempted to separate and shut down the affected systems.

Officials sought to allay concerns that workers would not be paid, reiterating that the payment and payroll systems relied on a separate network.

In a update On Monday, the Finance Ministry said the country’s National Cybersecurity Center was working around the clock to resolve the problem and had enlisted help from cybersecurity firms as well as other unnamed governments.

“Since the first day of the cyberattack, we have isolated the systems of the Ministry of Finance from the rest of the systems of government agencies, and the ministry formed a technical team composed of several entities, including the National Cyber ​​Center, with the help of from a specialized and reliable international company,” the government said.

“The Ministry of Finance confirms that all salary data for workers in government agencies is stored in the ministry’s systems and financial transactions are recorded. All government agencies continue and operate as normal.

Monday morning, the Rhysida ransomware gang added the ministry to its list of victims, giving the government seven days to pay an undisclosed ransom.

The gang recently made headlines in the United States for its devastating attack on Prospect Medical Holdings – which operates 16 hospitals in several states and was forced to reroute ambulances following the incident.

The group has made a point of attacking governments, most recently targeting systems in Chile And Martinique.

Kuwait, a country of more than 4 million people nestled along the Persian Gulf between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, is just the latest government to face a ransomware attack.

Last week, the governments of Colombia And Bermuda announced ransomware attacks that affected services and limited operations.

Attacks come in same week as US National Security Council urged governments of several countries to pledge to never pay ransomware hackers.

Last year, several Ikea stores in Kuwait were targeted by the Vice-company ransomware gang – which researchers believe may have ties to Rhysida.

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a breaking news reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked as a journalist around the world since 2014. Before returning to New York, he worked for media outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.

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