Bank of Costa Rica hacked by ransomware group Maze

Ransomware remains one of the main cybersecurity threats faced by individuals and organizations around the world. Network penetration testing specialists mention that Maze, a renowned group of cybercriminals, has compromised the IT systems of the Bank of Costa Rica, publishing multiple lists that include information such as account numbers corresponding to the institution’s clients. Hackers claim to have more than 10 million bank records.

Shortly after the information was leaked by various means, a representative of the Bank of Costa Rica assured that the alleged hacking never happened, so the client accounts are completely secure. The banking institution issued a statement regarding the alleged cybersecurity incident: “After receiving an alert derived from multiple social media posts detailing an alleged attack by the Criminal Group Maze, an exhaustive verification of our technology infrastructure was carried out, so we can flatly deny that our systems have been breached.”

In addition, the Bank of Costa Rica states that they implemented various security protocols in conjunction with firms and specialists in network penetration testing, who determined that the bank is being the victim of an extortion attempt.

Security firms and intelligence agencies around the world have linked Maze’s attacks to other incidents in companies such as Cognizant, Chubb, Hammersmith Medicines Research, among others.

According to the specialized BleepingComputer platform, “Maze works with a dangerous and sophisticated variant of ransomware for Windows systems that was first detected about a year ago; the basis of this malware is a Russian-born development known as Chachay, dating back to 2013.” As in all other ransomware attacks, threat actors encrypt the victims’ files and then demand a ransom in exchange for releasing access to compromised information. In some cases, the group has also come to leak confidential documents from victims as a form of pressure to obtain payment.    

While the Bank of Costa Rica claims that its systems were not compromised, network penetration testing experts say that the leakage of bank records is real, so it remains to be known how that information came out of the bank’s systems.

For further reports on vulnerabilities, exploits, malware variants and computer security risks you can access the website of the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), as well as the official platforms of technology companies.