US government provides Costa Rica $25m to bolster cyber efforts


The US government has provided Costa Rica with $25m in assistance to strengthen its cybersecurity efforts following a year of damaging ransomware attacks.

According to Security Week, an official in the US government said the funding comes in response to a ‘direct request’ from Rodrigo Chaves, the Costa Rican president, to President Biden.

The official said, “It will support the government of Costa Rica’s work to secure its networks and defend its critical infrastructure,” the official said. “It really reflects the president’s broader efforts to help partners efforts to build secure, open and reliable digital infrastructure around the world.”

The funding comes a mere month after Yuri Kim, the US ambassador to Albania, announced a direct grant there in response to a series of impactful Iranian cyberattacks targeting Albanian government and private networks last summer.

Chaves previously declared a national emergency as a result of the Conti ransomware attack after he was sworn into office last year. The ransomware group struck multiple government agencies and stole 672 gigabytes of information.

Security Week noted that Conti’s attack on Costa Rica hobbled critical services in the country, including tax collection systems and medical appointments. A second attack, later in May, linked to HIVE, hit the country.

The White House official added, “Clearly, in the current context, we recognize that supporting our allies’ and partners’ security is important in the context of the work we’re doing supporting our European allies and partners from Russian cyberattacks, in the context of our broader competition with China and the key space Latin America plays in that as well.”

Earlier this year, US government revealed it was set to approve a ‘hack-back’ approach to dealing with foreign adversaries.

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