HAMILTON, Bermuda, (CMC) – The Bermuda government has told citizens not to “underestimate some of the sensitive security issues and international issues” surrounding the “major cyberattack” on Thursday that brought down government information technology (IT) services.
Acting Premier Walter Roban in a statement to the House of Assembly on “matters of crucial national importance” said that on Wednesday night the government’s IT systems experienced a “serious cyberattack which resulted in the disruption of services across government departments”.
He said that an immediate investigation commenced by the Department of Information and Digital Technology and the matter was reported to the Bermuda Police Service, who also commenced an investigation.
Roban told legislators that the cybersecurity committee was convened to review the matter and that the authorities have taken immediate action and started work on systems containment.
“Government has ongoing contact with Government House and we are grateful for the support from the UK National Cybersecurity Centre. It is recognised that this regrettable incident will cause concern to many in our community and we will continue to regularly update the public,” he said.
“I do not want people to underestimate some of the sensitive security issues and international issues around this matter,” Roban said adding that “the very heart of public service has been attacked and immobilised,” he added.
On Friday, Governor of this British Overseas Territory, Rena Lalgie said that cybersecurity teams in Britain are assisting and Premier David Burt said that the incident affected not only the Bermuda government but some other regional governments as well.
“Our initial indication is it’s come from an external source, most likely from Russia, and we are working with agencies to make sure that we can identify any particular challenges and make sure that services are restored as quickly as possible,” Burt added.
In a statement, the Governor confirmed that the government IT systems were subjected to a major cyberattack and that incident is ongoing.
“Whilst there was an early indication of the geographical source of that attack, any further speculation on the possible source or motivation for the attack would be unhelpful,” she said.
Roban told legislators that members of the international business community had contacted the government to help and that local banks offered assistance “with making sure that certain obligations that the government has over the upcoming days and weeks will be met”.
Roban said that the government, financial institutions, large corporations and “even individual citizens have clearly been violated by this incident”.
“As we go through this process I just wish to assure everyone in this House and the country that the work is being done around the clock. Many people are not sleeping to get this rectified, and I can assure the country and this House that we will get the answers that are desired.
“I would remind people this is a very delicate situation. There are international implications around some of the issues that have arisen as a result of this,” he told legislators.