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Indonesia Admits National Data Center Hacked; Hackers Demand US$8mn

24 June 2024 19:20 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaHead of the National Cyber and Encryption Agency (BSN) Hinsa Siburian admitted that the National Data Center had been hacked. The hackers are suspected of using the latest ransomware variant to attack the government server, which manages national data for ministries and institutions, as well as local governments.

“This temporary data center incident is a cyberattack in the form of ransomware, called brain cipher ransomware,” Hinsa said after a press conference at the Ministry of Communication and Information on  Monday, June 24, 2024.

Hinsa said that his agency managed to discover the type of ransomware after the forensic team examined a number of data samples. “Of course, we need to know this so that we can anticipate it in other locations,” he said. “We will also immediately share it with other agencies or colleagues, and at the same time, this is a lesson learned for us to mitigate any possibilities.”

The National Data Center managed by the Kominfo Ministry has been disrupted since June 20, resulting in the shutdown of digital services of the Immigration Directorate General. The online enrollment for new students (PPDB) service in many regions has also been disrupted, forcing the regional government to extend the registration period.

Immigration Director-General Silmy Karim said that the disruption in the immigration system was caused by the problematic National Data Center (PDN). “The problem is with the PDN, the National Data Center, which is managed by Kominfo,” Silmy said on Thursday, June 20, 2024.

Herlan Wijanarko, Director of Network and IT Solution of Telkom Sigma, revealed that the hackers demanded US$8 million, or about Rp131 billion (at an assumed rate of Rp16,399 per US dollar), for the exchange of 201 stolen data.

Deputy Kominfo Minister Nezar Patria said that the hackers were likely from abroad. He has not yet confirmed whether the government will comply with the request. “We are focusing on isolating the data,” he claimed.

Nezar said that there was no threat of data deletion for now. “Some data is encrypted. So, we can't access it.”

The government's goal is to complete and restore the temporary PDN as soon as possible. “What is being attacked is our national interest,” he said, hoping that the cyberattack would not spread to other websites.

EKA YUDHA SAPUTRA | DESTY LUTHFIANI

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