The online tax collection system used by Costa Ricans was recently hacked. The network of the country’s Ministry of Finance is now down and taxpayers have no choice but to pay their taxes by hand.
Costa Rican government hit by cyberattack
The Ministry of Finance is just one of many Costa Rican government agencies that were compromised in the cyberattack. According to the story of BNC NewsConti, an international gang of cybercriminals has been asking agencies to pay a ransom since April.
The cyber criminal gang will only allow the agencies to become operational again once they pay the demanded ransom. President Rodrigo Chaves, the country’s newest leader, even announced a state of emergency.
Costa Rica’s president declares state of emergency after recently taking oath
The declaration of a state of emergency was made very recently after the swearing in of the new leader. NBC News notes that ransomware attacks have become increasingly common lately.
It has been said that cybercriminals typically attack businesses and “small government organizations” during times when they would be incentivized to pay. The publication notes that these shutdowns would typically occur at a time when results would come at a high cost.
An estimated $600 was lost to ransomware attacks in the US in 2021
emsisofta cybersecurity firm, estimated that more than $600 million is the cost of these ransomware attacks in the United States alone in 2021.
The recent attack on the government of Costa Rica, however, is said to be the “largest known criminal ransomware attack to date” launched directly against the government of his country.
Citizens must now manually upload and file the EDDI7 program
As detailed in Tico times, an online system is generally used by Costa Ricans to pay their taxes. The payment system remains inoperative due to the failure of the networks of the Ministry of Finance.
Due to the incident, the country even decided to postpone some deadlines until August this year. However, they still collect VAT on imports and sales, which allows them a little tax inflow.
Citizens are now invited to download the EDDI7 program to complete their tax information. They are then required to print the form and physically pay their taxes at a government approved bank.
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EDDI7 caused problems for Mac users
EDDI7, however, only works on a Windows operating system, which makes it inaccessible or at least inconvenient for Apple users. According to El Financierothe system forced customers to wait hours just to pay their taxes.
A San Jose photographer, Alex Vargas, said he uses Macs for his office. This led him to take his business documents home to use EDDI7. It took him a day to travel to and from an approved bank because his local bank “was not authorized to collect VAT.
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Written by Urian B.
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