PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea: A cyberattack on Papua New Guinea’s finance ministry briefly disrupted government payments and operations, officials said late Thursday. Ransomware infiltrated and compromised a core server at the department of finance last week, hampering the government’s access to foreign aid, its ability to pay checks and carry out other basic functions in the midst of a spiraling Covid-19 surge. “The department has now managed to fully restore the system, however, because of the risk, we are playing safe by not allowing full usage of the affected network,” said John Pundari, acting treasurer. Pundari said the department “did not pay any ransom to the purported hacker or any of its third-party agents. We have managed to restore normalcy.” The attack took place in the middle of the night on October 22. poster The platform controls budgeting and financing for the entire Papua New Guinea government.
The Papua New Guinea government Financial Management System has been fully restored following a cyber-attack in the form of Ransomware.
The country’s Finance Minister John Pundari has said in a statement.
He says, the Department of Finance has managed and restored the Finance Management System back online, after the attack a week ago.
The cyber-attack happened on Friday the 22nd of October, with the hackers demanding the government to pay money.
The system, which manages access to hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid money, was disabled by attackers who demanded Bitcoin in ransom payment from PNG.
Pundari said the government and the people can be assured that the government financial services will continue as usual.
But as a precaution, he said the government was not allowing full usage of the affected network, while it cleaned up the server environment and adopted temporary measures.
These include all Government Departments and Agencies having access to commit and process cheque’s using a controlled environment within Vulupindi Haus.
All provinces and districts will also have access to commit funds, through a controlled environment as a temporary arrangement.
Sir John, further clarified, that the Department is conscious of the security and integrity of its data thus, restoration of services to all government agencies, including at the sub-national level will be done gradually with added security layers to prevent similar attacks in the future.