Spain’s Ministry of Labor and Social Economy Hit By Cyberattack

The Spanish Ministry of Labor and Social Economy (MITES) is working on restoring services after being hit by a cyberattack on Wednesday.

MITES is a ministerial department with an annual budget of almost €39 million, charged with coordinating and supervising Spain’s employment, social economy, and corporate social responsibility policies.

“The Ministry of Labor and Social Economy has been affected by a computer attack,” MITES’ media office said earlier today.

“The technical managers of the Ministry and the National Cryptological Center are working together to determine the origin and restore normality as soon as possible.”

While the ministry’s website is still up after the attack, both the communications office and the multimedia room are down.

The Spanish Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal (SEPE) — a government agency part of MITES that was hit by ransomware in March— says that it was not affected by the cyberattack.

“The computer attack that the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy has suffered has NOT affected the operation of the State Public Employment Service,” SEPE said.

“The Electronic Office, the website and the set of services continue to be provided normally.”

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Government agency for labor hit by ransomware

The cyberattack on MITES’ systems comes after a Ryuk ransomware attack that hit SEPE’s network three months ago, on March 9.

The incident impacted more than 700 agency offices across Spain after Ryuk operators encrypted the agency’s network systems.

According to an announcement made on the agency’s website at the time, the ransomware also spread beyond SEPE’s workstations and reached the agency’s remote working staff’s laptops.

As a direct result of the ransomware attack that hit SEPE’s network, hundreds of thousands of appointments made through the agency were delayed throughout Spain.

The Spanish labor agency is not the only high-profile Spanish ransomware victim. Everis​, a leading Spanish managed service provider (MSP), and Cadena SER (Sociedad Española de Radiodifusión), Spain’s largest radio station, were also hit by ransomware in November 2019.

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Telefonica, one of the largest telecommunications companies globally, was also affected by the WannaCry ransomware attack during the outbreak that made tens of thousands of victims worldwide in 2017.

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