Institutional emergency declared at CNT

4 Aug 2021

The Ecuadorian government has declared an ‘institutional emergency’ at state-owned operator Corporacion de Telecomunicaciones (CNT) following a ransomware attack on 22 July which affected customer services such as billing, activations and recharges.

In a statement released on 28 July, the Minister for Telecommunications and Information Society, Vianna Maino, stressed the telco acted quickly to ‘enable the attack to be effectively contained while protecting service continuity, user data and sensitive information’. ‘Improving the company is a great challenge, but also a great opportunity to implement real change … We will make CNT a benchmark in the regional market,’ the minister added.

The minister announced a series of measures to restore operations at CNT and prevent similar attacks, including: the appointment of an expert to assess the situation at the telco; an external audit to review the company’s hiring processes, system purchases and infrastructure; the modernisation of its IT systems; the preparation of a comprehensive transformation process to ensure CNT meets international standards; and a legal reform to allow government data to be stored in highly secure international clouds rather than on local servers.

To thank customers for their patience, CNT has announced post-paid subscribers will receive a 1GB monthly data bonus for one year and pre-paid customers who have recharged in the last 60 days will receive 1GB of free data for seven days. Fixed internet customers, meanwhile, will either be upgraded to a higher speed package or offered a discount of up to 50% for three months, and subscription TV users will enjoy access to additional channels for one month.