Cyber attack: Restoration of hacked computer service may take time
The Bermuda government is building a new computer network after it suffered a crippling cyberattack last week.
At a press conference yesterday, Premier David Burt said Government systems were slowly coming back online, but an enhanced network was also being put in place.
Burt said he could not divulge the nature of the attack and did not reiterate his claims last week that the attack had been caused by Russian hackers. He also refused to comment on whether it was a ransomware attack and defended his decision to go ahead with an already scheduled trip to meet US legislators in Washington, DC.
“Work has been accelerated on deploying an enhanced network within the Government with enhanced security,” he said. “For existing systems that have not been impacted, the aim is to restore them safely with added and enhanced protections.
“This will assist in standing up government services and providing access to those services for the public.”
Burt added: “It is clear that this was a sophisticated and deliberate attack that has resulted in unprecedented stress on basic government systems. There has been an impact on the delivery of services to the public, and the work is ongoing to establish a safe restoration of those systems which have been impacted.
“It is important to note that the nature of this attack and the work that is underway to address its impact is a matter of national security. As such, there will be some information I am unable to divulge at this time.”
He said that when the nature of the attack became clear, the whole Government network was shut down to provide the best chances for recovery and mitigate the risk of further incursion.
“By early Thursday evening, and having assessed the scope of the attack and its sophistication, in concert with the Cabinet, I directed the engagement of specialist assistance to support the local efforts.
“There has been no shortage of offers of assistance from the private sector, which has been gratefully received where it can be used. I wish to thank private sector partners who have so willingly offered to come to the assistance of the Government of Bermuda.”
Responding to questions, Burt said he could not comment on whether personal data had been breached, saying: “The investigation efforts are still ongoing, and it would not be wise for me to comment on specifics at this time.”
According to The Royal Gazette, Burt said the “next several days will be critical” for recovery and “no resources are being spared”. The Premier said services would come online as soon as it was safe to do so, adding that it would possibly be a couple of weeks before everything was restored.
He also rejected criticism of his trip to Washington, saying “government leadership is not just about the moment but consistently having an eye on the future”.
He said meetings with “key legislators” had in some cases taken “months to secure” and that discussions to “advance direct foreign investment in Bermuda was necessary”.
He said he had remained “fully connected to the issues here at home”, The Royal Gazette reported.