Liege, the third largest conglomerate in Belgium, has been subjected to a cyber attack. As of Tuesday, June 22, 2021, the city spoke of a “large-scale targeted computer attack, obviously of a criminal nature.” The Belgian press, including RTBF, mentions a ransomware attack and adds that it might be Ryuk ransomware.
This type of malware encrypts the integrity of the data in the information system. The authors then provide the decryption key to the victims in exchange for a ransom paid in bitcoin and thus impossible to revoke once payment.
Many services are inaccessible
This cyber attack affects the computer network in the city. Many services and programs are inaccessible and many public services are affected, including civil status services for neighborhood mayors. Births, marriages or deaths cannot be registered.
The citizenship service cannot be accessed, it is impossible to re-apply for a passport or identity card. Application forms for organizing events, requesting a paid subscription for parking, and requesting permission to park at a waterfront location are also not accessible.
The City of Liège ensures that it has surrounded itself with experts of international competence in order to analyze the scale of the attack and its consequences “particularly in terms of duration on the partial unavailability of its computer system”. It does not detail how it intends to respond to this computer attack or whether a ransom payment is being considered so that it can regain access to the entire computer network. Likewise, it has not been determined whether the data could be stolen.
Last May, the Belgian internet service provider Belnet was hit by a DDoS attack that disrupted parliamentary meetings and prevented vaccination appointments. Cyber attacks have increased in recent years. Large companies and state services are affected. National Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi), Alerted to the explosion of threats In particular, ransomware.
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