The French island of Guadeloupe is dealing with the aftereffects of a cyberattack, according to a notice on the government’s website.
Officials said the attack occurred on Monday and that they immediately put in place a service continuity plan in order for them to “carry out the essential missions of the administration.”
The government hired cybersecurity experts and mobilized a team to limit the impact of the incident. In an update on Friday, the government announced they are still analyzing the attack to understand the extent of it and restore systems to their normal activity.
“At present, we know that the overall management of high schools and public transport services, under the jurisdiction of the community, are, for the moment, preserved,” officials said.
“We understand, of course, the fears of our citizens and wish to assure them of the full mobilization of the staff of the regional council to restore all services as soon as possible. Indeed, these cyberattacks, as common as they are, remind us that the question is not whether we will be victims, but when.”
The statement notes that the government is working with CNIL – France’s data protection authority – as well as France’s National Information Systems Security Agency (ANSSI), the National Police and the Gendarmerie.
The government also warned citizens to be wary of phishing messages over text and WhatsApp, urging people not to respond to unknown messages or open attachments from numbers they don’t recognize.
Officials at the French Foreign Ministry and in Guadeloupe did not respond to requests for comment.
The notice on Guadeloupe’s government website.
In a statement to RFI earlier this week, the government said it shut down all computer networks “to protect data.”
Guadeloupe is an overseas department and region of France in the Caribbean consisting of six islands with a population of about 385,000.
The department is the latest small island government attacked by cybercriminals. The government of Vanuatu has been knocked offline since early November following a ransomware attack.
That attack has crippled the Pacific island’s parliament, police and prime minister’s office while also taking down almost all of the digital tools used by the country’s schools, hospitals and government services.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Vanuatu government refused to pay a ransom and experts from Australia were flown in to help with the response to the attack.
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