Cyber Attack
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Cyber attack surge in Trinidad and Tobago: 55 reported for 2023

There are 55 known cyber attack reports of various types between the government and the private sector in 2023 according to the Trinidad and Tobago Cyber Security Incident Response Team (TT-CSIRT).

Since this number only represents the attacks that have been reported publicly, the actual number may be higher.

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The most common type of cyber attack occurrence in Trinidad and Tobago in 2023 has been ransomware, which is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands a ransom payment in order to decrypt them. Other types of attacks that have been reported include phishing, malware attacks, and data breaches.

The TT-CSIRT has urged all organisations in Trinidad and Tobago to take the necessary precautions to mitigate against rising ransomware attacks.

This includes implementing strong cybersecurity measures, such as using antivirus software, keeping software up to date, and educating employees about cybersecurity.

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What is causing the cyber attack increase in Trinidad and Tobago?

There are a number of factors that are contributing to the cyber attack increase in Trinidad and Tobago. One factor is the growing use of technology in the country. As more and more people and businesses rely on technology, they become more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Another factor is the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals. Cybercriminals are constantly developing new techniques and tools to carry out attacks. This makes it more difficult for organisations to protect themselves from cyber attacks.

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What can be done to prevent cyber attacks?

There are a number of things that can be done to prevent cyber attacks in Trinidad and Tobago. Organisations should take the following steps to protect themselves:

  • Implement strong cybersecurity measures, such as using antivirus software, keeping software up to date, and educating employees about cybersecurity.
  • Be aware of the latest cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
  • Have a plan for responding to a cyber attack.

The cyber attack increase in Trinidad and Tobago is a serious threat to organisations of all sizes. By taking the necessary precautions, organisations can help to protect themselves from these attacks.

Additional tips for protecting yourself from cyber attacks:

  • Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
  • Be careful about what information you share online.
  • Install security software on your computer and mobile devices.
  • Be aware of phishing scams.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the authorities.

Here are some additional details about cyber attacks in Trinidad and Tobago in 2023:

DateTargetDetails
June 2023Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs (AGLA)The attack caused outages and disrupted internal services.
October 2023Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT)The company stated that there was no loss of customer data from its databases.
October 23, 2023South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA)The attack resulted in a loss of connectivity and access to information databases.
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Cyber attack on AG’s office

On June 27, 2023, the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs (AGLA) in Trinidad and Tobago detected a cyber attack on its network. The attack disrupted operations at the AGLA and certain associated divisions.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation issued a media release stating that the attack had been contained and that an investigation was underway. The release also stated that some services that are usually provided by the AGLA were temporarily unavailable.

The AGLA has not released any information about the nature or extent of the attack. However, the Ministry of Digital Transformation has stated that the attack was “sophisticated” and that it was carried out by a “nation-state actor”.

The AGLA cyberattack is the latest in a series of cyberattacks that have targeted Trinidad and Tobago in recent years. In 2021, the country’s Ministry of Finance was the victim of a ransomware attack that encrypted its systems and demanded a ransom payment.

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Cyber attack on TSTT

On October 9, 2023, Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) was the victim of a cyberattack. The company stated that hackers attempted to gain unauthorized access to TSTT’s systems, but were unsuccessful. TSTT took immediate steps to minimise the security vulnerability, successfully isolating its systems and applications.

TSTT also stated that there was no loss of customer data from its databases. The company said that it had taken steps to strengthen its cybersecurity measures in the wake of the attack.

The cyberattack on TSTT is the latest in a series of cyberattacks that have targeted Trinidad and Tobago in recent years. In 2021, the country’s Ministry of Finance was the victim of a ransomware attack that encrypted its systems and demanded a ransom payment.

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Cyber attack on SWRHA

South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) in Trinidad and Tobago suffered a cyber-attack on October 23, 2023. The attack resulted in a loss of connectivity and access to information databases. The SWRHA said that the attack compromised its ability to access technological systems in real-time.

The SWRHA worked with external partner agencies to ascertain the true hacker, regain access to its data, and restore full operations to its vast automated system by Monday, November 20, 2023. The SWRHA also assured the public that patient records were not compromised and that critical patient and employee services continued during the incident.

The SWRHA did not pay any ransom to the hackers. The authority denied a newspaper report that it paid over US$7 million in Bitcoin cryptocurrency to regain access to data.

Cyberattacks are a growing threat to organisations around the world, and Trinidad and Tobago is no exception. By taking the necessary precautions, organizations can help to protect themselves from these attacks.

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Here are some ways to detect if your information has been leaked to the dark web or hackers:

  • Check if your email address or phone number has been included in any data breach lists: There are several websites that track data breaches and publish lists of affected email addresses and phone numbers. You can use these websites to check if your information has been included in any known breaches.
  • Monitor your credit reports for suspicious activity: Your credit report can show you if someone has opened new accounts in your name or made unauthorized charges to your existing accounts. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a week at AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Be careful about what information you share online: Hackers can use social media to gather information about you, such as your birthday, hometown, and the names of your friends and family. Be careful about what information you share online and make sure to use strong privacy settings on your social media accounts.
  • Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication: Strong passwords are at least 12 characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. You should also use a different password for each of your online accounts. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts by requiring you to enter a code from your phone in addition to your password when you log in.
  • Install security software: Security software can help protect your computer from malware and other online threats. Make sure to keep your security software up to date and run regular scans to detect any threats.
  • Be aware of phishing scams: Phishing scams are emails or text messages that try to trick you into revealing personal information, such as your passwords or credit card numbers. Be wary of any emails or text messages that ask for personal information, and never click on links in emails or text messages from unknown senders.
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What to do if your information has been compromised?

If you find out that your information has been leaked to hackers or the dark web, it is important to take immediate action to protect yourself from identity theft and other fraud. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Change your passwords: Start by changing the passwords for all of your online accounts, including your email, bank accounts, social media accounts, and shopping websites. Make sure to create strong passwords that are at least 12 characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. You should also avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
  2. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports: Contact the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and place a fraud alert on your credit reports. This will make it more difficult for someone to open a new account in your name. You can also request a credit freeze, which will prevent anyone from opening new accounts in your name without your permission.
  3. Monitor your credit reports: You should also monitor your credit reports regularly for any suspicious activity. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus once a week at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you see any unfamiliar charges or accounts, report them immediately to the credit bureau.
  4. Be careful about what information you share online: Be cautious about what information you share online, especially on social media. Hackers can use this information to learn more about you and your identity, which can make it easier for them to target you.
  5. Install security software: You should also install security software on your computer and mobile devices. This software can help to protect you from malware and other online threats.
  6. Be aware of phishing scams: Phishing scams are emails or text messages that try to trick you into revealing personal information, such as your passwords or credit card numbers. Be wary of any emails or text messages that ask for personal information, and never click on links in emails or text messages from unknown senders.
  7. Report any suspicious activity to the authorities: If you believe that your information has been leaked, you should report it to the authorities. This can help them to track down the hackers and bring them to justice.

By taking these steps, you can help protect yourself from the devastating effects of identity theft and other fraud.

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