The United States Government promised this Wednesday to help Costa Rica to deploy new 5G networks in the country safely with the aim of avoiding cyberattacks such as those that rocked several Costa Rican institutions in 2022.
This commitment was pronounced by one of the president’s main advisers, Joe Biden, for cybersecurity, Anne Neuberger, during a round table with the president of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, and other members of the US Executive at the Center for Strategic and International Studies ( CSIS), a think tank in Washington.
“Because of the relationship between cybersecurity and digital infrastructures, we have started a conversation about 5G in Costa Rica and how we can make sure that those 5G networks are secure. We are having conversations about that,” Neuberger explained.
Biden’s adviser also referred to the attempts of the Costa Rican Executive to deploy the first private 5G networks in the country in the coming months, which would facilitate investment by telecommunications companies from around the world in the Central American country.Specifically, he expressed the need for those telecommunications companies to be “trusted providers.”
Waging a battle with China
The United States is waging a battle with China for the development of 5G networks, with higher download speeds and a type of technology in which the Chinese company Huawei has led the way, which arouses concerns in Washington about security and espionage by the Chinese executive.
Costa Rica suffered in 2022 a series of cyberattacks that affected various institutions, such as the ministries of Finance, Science and Labor, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund and the health system, which resulted in delays in the payment of salaries to public employees .The cyberattacks lasted for several months and exposed the vulnerabilities in the computer systems of many Costa Rican institutions.
The Russian-origin group known as “Conti” claimed responsibility for the initial wave of attacks, while another Russian gang called “Hive” claimed to be behind subsequent attacks.The hackers carried out the cyber attacks with “ransomware” programs that seized the computers of Costa Rican institutions and then demanded a reward of millions of dollars to free them.Due to the magnitude of the attack, Chaves had to declare a state of emergency and asked the United States and Spain for help.