GPL says came under cyber attack, rejected ransom demand

The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) today said that it had been the victim of a cyber attack on February 6th and had also been issued a ransom demand which it rejected.

A statement from GPL follows:

On Wednesday, February 6, 2019, at approximately 04:21hrs, the Guyana Power and Light Inc. experienced a cyber-attack on the Company’s computerized systems.  Upon identification of this cyber-attack, GPL took immediate actions to isolate and prevent further spread of the malware.

Permanent corrective measures were taken, which included but was not limited to initiating an Information System quarantine.  

During this period while our Company assiduously worked to restore normalcy, there were service interruptions for customers visiting our Offices attempting to submit queries and new service applications as our Customer Information System was taken offline. Service was incrementally restored at our Commercial Offices and Customer Call Centres between Friday, February 8, and Sunday, February 10.   Our prepaid customers were able to purchase tokens during this period as per norm and our electricity supply was not affected by this incident.

The perpetrators of this act requested a ransom of bitcoins (digital money) to remove all encryptions from within the network. However, it should be noted that GPL Inc. has not heeded to and will not heed to any such ransom.  

GPL has commenced the process of strengthening its cyber-attack mitigation measures and Disaster Recovery planning strategies in alignment with industry best practices. It is therefore fitting, that we advise and encourage local companies with computerised systems to review their existing cyber security systems and Disaster Recovery plans also.

Sincerest appreciation is extended to public and private entities that offered support and assistance during this period of disruption. 

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