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BEL victim of ransomware cyber attack  

HeadlineBEL victim of ransomware cyber attack  

by Marco Lopez

BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 17, 2023

Today, a representative from Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) informed us that they are still investigating the cyber-attack announced on Friday, July 14. Tomorrow, a press conference will be held during which the details of exactly what took place and what progress the company has made in addressing the situation will be shared with the public.

According to a tweet on the FalconFeedsio page ”Ragnar Locker #ransomware group added Belize Electricity Limited (bel.com.bz) to their victim list. They claim to have access to 355GB of organizations data.” According to the release from the company, “the leaked data and information consisted of confidential transactional information pertaining to Employees and Customers and other network configuration information stored on our file servers and on individual computers assigned to Employees.”

The release from the company states that there was no leak of “critical IT software and database management systems data that contain customer and financial datasets, nor from our operation technology network that monitors and controls the grid.” That means that these hackers did not access the means to control or disrupt the power supply.

At this time, the company states that they have been successful in preventing or minimizing the effects of such attacks, which primarily are carried out through the encryption of data and locking victims out of their own networks. This is the modus operandi of these types of cyber attacks referred to as ransomware. Hackers infiltrate the IT infrastructure of organizations and change passwords, locking them out of their own systems. They then demand exorbitant “ransoms” from the organizations in return for access to their own data.

At times, the data gathered is illegally sold on the dark web, and bots are left in systems, giving hackers perpetual access to critical information.

The BEL teams are currently investigating the full extent of the data leak and shared that they will report the incident to the appropriate authorities.

On Saturday, the company announced that online services such as the BEL 24/7 mobile app and online banking services are currently unavailable. This morning, BEL representatives informed us that some email services were also offline. We will continue to follow this incident and provide more information after the press conference tomorrow.

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