CIG denies cyber breach but engages consultants

| 23/02/2024 | 33 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government has finally issued an explanation about a cyber attack on its online systems that took place on 9 February, having issued a statement just three lines long last week following press inquiries. Officials have claimed there has been no successful compromise, but, like other governments around the world, the CIG is targeted by hackers on an ongoing basis. Following further inquiries by CNS, the government has now said it has engaged local consultants to ensure it can continue to repel attempts to breach the systems.

It’s not clear why it has taken almost two weeks for officials to comment on the situation, given public concerns that their private data held by the government might have been compromised, undermining trust just as the ministry responsible is preparing to roll out a national identification system.

On 22 February, government repeated the claims that there had been “no successful compromise to any Cayman Islands Government systems”. It said the Cyber Security Office, along with the Computer Services Department, the Department of eGovernment and other regulatory authorities, continue to monitor and combat cyber threats to protect our systems and services.

“A recent thwarted cyber-attack serves as a reminder of the ongoing international threats and the government’s work to avert them,” officials stated. “Any public speculation as to who was behind the attack is unhelpful and reckless. The attribution of precisely who was behind the thwarted attack is under investigation by RCIPS working with our global law enforcement partner agencies in the UK, namely the National Crime Agency (NCA), National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the FBI in the US.”

The Office of the Ombudsman, which overseas data protection, has been informed of the attempted, unsuccessful attack as officilas said they would have have a legal obligation to do so had the hackers been successful. Government has also engaged Deloitte to perform an independent review and assessment of the attempted security breach as part of what officials said was part of “its good governance, risk management” process and “in line with our standard operating procedures.” That independent review and assessment of the security event is ongoing.

In the meantime officials are clling on the wider communtiy to also remain alert to potentiaal cyber threats. “We urge the public and business communities to remain vigilant with the increased cyber threat activity regionally at this time,” the officials stated. “Your awareness and cooperation are essential in safeguarding our collective security as a renowned business jurisdiction.”

The team working on the issue did not engage with the local press, despite requests, but instead conducted a staged interview with Radio Cayman. See below.

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Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder who is happy to have a shooter take them from the headlines?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Big darvy, whats the word as the country needs to hear from YOU?!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not good viewing or reading…

    Muddled use of terms and explanations from the first interviewee:

    “Cyber Security Attack Attempt” vs “our AI systems detected an intrusion into our systems” – an attempt and getting in are two different things. Getting in is what is called a Breach and is a critical part of a successful Cyber Attack.

    “we took prompt action, to halt, block and thwart that cyber attack”…then she corrects herself by adding the wording “attack attempt” – she then continues to say “PRETTY MUCH in line with our standard operating procedures” – likely in trying to downplay what in reality (and they likely know) is a Cyber Attack that resulted in an intrusion, they keep forgetting to use the right terminology and continually correct themselves. If a burglar gets into your house, looks around, learns all about your stuff and then leaves because you arrived home, technically it may not be a burglary but you should be worried. In this case, the intruder could review sensitive information, make physical notes or screen scrapes of what they found, but not extract the data or modify it.

    Also what does “PRETTY MUCH in line with our standard operating procedures” actually mean? e.g. could mean they missed the notification for 12 hours because it was the middle of the night, could mean they dismissed it as they assumed it was a false positive, could mean a panic ensued and key forensic data was lost…

    Transparency, education and honesty are key when dealing with this kind of thing. I’m not convinced this is being handled the way it should be or we’re getting the whole picture. Almost feels like “circling the wagons” is taking place…

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands Government (CIG) should inform the public and all stakeholders within the finance sector about the severity of the threat posed to the country’s security. This threat arises from involvement in warfare, which led to the seizure of billions of assets during active conflicts. Furthermore, a certain country has officially designated the Cayman Islands as an adversary and publicly listed them as members of their Unfriendly Countries list.

    Additionally, our ships are being attacked in the Gulf due to our permission for a country, which is one of our allies, to fly our flags on ships carrying their cargo. In my opinion, these incidents could potentially lead to not only cyber attacks but also terrorist attacks on the island. Therefore, everyone must remain vigilant about our safety and security within the country.

  5. Anonymous says:

    As an IT lawyer, eminently qualified by social media, and with many years experience offering unsolicited advice, I call upon Defendant #1 Pamela Green to answer the following questions under oath:
    1. If you have been successfully thwarting attempts to penetrate Government Computer Systems for over 5 years, what was different about this one that made you call in outside consultants?
    2. Will you post an opportunity on Bonfire to further investigate all of the other past attempts? or
    3. Will you just have a bonfire to get rid of all the stupid ideas you have been pushing for the last 5 years?

  6. Anonymous says:

    CIG Cyber security sucks and always will. You have very little competent people that understand what to do with changing technology.
    Coming from a cyber security person.

    • Anony2 says:

      Yeah and I King Tut and readeh to sell you the bridge in Brooklyn. You eitha a keyboard warrior or cig spy that seem to know bout this breach mention

  7. Anonymous says:

    “Detected an intrusion” is clear admission there was a breach. Everything else after that statement was pure BS.

    An IT security breach is not the same as an individual jumping a barrier and then being tackled by a security guard half-way down the corridor.

    What if the breach they claim to have detected was one intruder waving a red flag saying “look at me over here” while the other intruders were quietly sneaking into every government database?

    As a seasoned IT professional I get daily, weekly, and monthly collated reports telling me how many attempts there were to circumvent the access controls of the systems I am hired to protect; and they run to the thousands per week! Unfortunately, none of the software systems available to protect IT infrastructure have a reporting feature that says “you have been hacked”.

    • Anonymous says:

      What about all the people’s information with Travel Cayman during Covid? Was that compromised?

  8. sudo humble_pie says:

    Wayne Green, have you tried turning it off and on again?

    “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.” —Carl Sagan

    I sure hope the D&T and their hired IT gang, that the costs to investigate and the final reports are made public, you know, for transparency and all that jazz. Of course the government will hide it saying “sensitive information, blah blah blah, for security reasons blah blah blah, can’t be reveled blah blah blah blah blah blah…” or some such BS.

    If there was no actual data stolen or actual systems breached, good, then say so, but if there was data stolen/attempted Ransomeware or other such IT maliciousness, then say so as well! We in the industry know a thing or 2, too and keep track of searchable data on the webs.👁

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why is the FBI involved when we’re British Dependent? I am sure the UK has ample expertise. A government agency from a country we have no official ties should not be involved.

  10. Anonymous says:

    There’s no ‘T’ in UPM

  11. Anonymous says:

    The same CIG that can’t sort mail, or tell you there’s a package waiting.

    • Anonymous says:

      2.11 The same CIG that makes it possible for you to come here and live a privileged , entitled life and you still want more.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if Deloitte is “humbled” to be the recipient of every CI Government outsourced consultancy?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Where are you getting your (false) “facts”? Deloitte may get a small number of these, but other firms get a lot more. Sounds like a disgruntled competitor whose RFP was unsuccessful for this engagement.

    • Anony2 says:

      Sound like a another insida. Type on keyboard warrior.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Good Luck

  14. Anonymous says:

    lies make baby jesus cry.

  15. Anonymous says:

    what a farce!

  16. Anonymous says:

    completely scripted.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Pay big bucks and then get a cosultant.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for including the “interview” clip. This very carefully scripted “interview” leads me to believe that the public is not being told the entire story. Also, the Deloitte representative said they are “humbled” to offer their expertise to the Cayman Islands Government. I trust that they remember they are supposed to be an objective 3rd party.


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