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Indonesia’s National Data Centre targeted in ransomware cyber attack

Indonesia’s National Data Centre faced a major ransomware attack from hacker group Lockbit 3.0, disrupting critical services and demanding US$ 8 million. The government refuses to pay, focusing on service restoration and cybersecurity enhancement.



Indonesia's National Data Centre hit by ransomware cyber attack
(Photo: Cyber Management Alliance)

INDONESIA: Indonesia’s National Data Centre, which manages data for various ministries and institutions, has experienced a significant disruption due to a ransomware cyber attack.

The attack, initiated on 20 June, has affected 210 central and regional agencies nationwide.

It is attributed to Lockbit 3.0, a notorious hacker group known for ransomware attacks, which has demanded IDR 131 billion (US$ 8 million) for the stolen data.

The ransomware attack compromised the temporary data centres set up in Surabaya and Jakarta, which were operational due to the ongoing construction of the main National Data Centre.

These temporary centres were established to ensure the continuity of business and government processes during the construction period.

This attack has left critical digital services offline, causing widespread inconvenience.

As a result of the disruption, several essential digital services have been shut down, including those provided by the Immigration Directorate General and online student enrollment services in various regions.

Government resists ransomware demands

Lockbit 3.0 has a notorious track record and has previously targeted digital security in Indonesia.

The ransomware used in this attack is called Brain Cipher Ransomware, a new development from the Lockbit 3.0 ransomware.

The Head of the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN), Hinsa Siburian, confirmed the details in a press statement, explaining that the ransomware has been under continuous development.

The BSSN is collaborating with the Ministry of Communication and Information, the Cyber Crime Police of Indonesia, and Telkom Sigma to investigate and mitigate the attack.

Despite the ransom demands, the Indonesian government has decided not to comply.

Minister of Communication and Information Budi Arie Setiadi affirmed the government’s stance, stating firmly, “We will not fulfill the hackers’ demands,” on Monday (24 June).

Government takes steps to mitigate cyber attack impact and restore services

Efforts are ongoing to resolve the hack’s impact on the National Data Centre system.

Director General of Applications and Informatics at the Ministry of Communication and Information, Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, outlined the steps taken to handle the cyber attack, including isolating and quarantining infected data areas.

The government is also working to restore various public services affected by the disruption, and data migration is being carried out by service managers.

In response to the continued disruption, immigration-related activities have been temporarily moved to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to ensure public services are not further impacted.

Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly stated that this step was necessary to maintain service continuity.

Vice president calls for enhanced cybersecurity to prevent future attacks

Meanwhile, Vice President of Indonesia Ma’ruf Amin emphasized the importance of the investigation to prevent future incidents.

He assured that efforts to restore and normalize the situation are underway and that anticipatory steps are being taken to protect state and public data.

The Vice President also underscored the need for anticipatory measures to protect state and public data, suggesting the implementation of a unified national data policy to safeguard important information from being compromised.

“This disturbance is a valuable lesson for us; therefore, it needs to be anticipated and must not happen again in the future,” he stressed.

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