Ransomware Assault Reveals Vulnerabilities in Latin America’s Largest Network Provider

Claro Company, the largest telecom operator in Central and South America, recently disclosed a ransomware attack by the Trigona group, leading to service disruptions in various regions.

The attack began on January 25, 2024, but the company only issued its first notification on February 2 via its Claro Nicaragua subsidiary. Despite the note originating from Nicaragua, similar issues were reported in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras.

The ransomware attack damaged Claro’s network elements, causing disruptions such as internet connectivity issues, video call problems, and payment processing delays. The attackers, known for their double-extortion tactics, likely infiltrated the system, exfiltrated files, and encrypted data. While file recovery is possible, the threat of exposing or selling user data remains a significant concern.

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What is Trigona?

Trigona, a relatively new ransomware group since October 2022, gained notoriety for its Linux version of the payload. It practices double extortion by leaking data and demanding separate ransom payments to prevent the publication or sale of the data.

In October 2023, the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance hacked the group, leading to the wipeout of server infrastructure and tools. Despite this setback, Trigona continued its criminal activities.

The attack on Claro is part of a trend in 2024, with telecom companies facing ransomware attacks causing severe disruptions. The incidents underscore the need for advanced multi-layered security measures, including robust security tools, a secure network architecture, and comprehensive data protection. Given the abundance of personal data in telecom organizations, these measures are crucial to prevent widespread network breaches and data compromise.

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