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Affected by cyber-attacks, BEL suspends BEL 24-7 app, Utilicash services used by collection agents; the utility company expected to restore Utilicash by today Friday, BEL 24-7 next week

Posted: Friday, May 19, 2023. 4:54 pm CST.

Photo Credit: BEL

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) said on Friday that it has been the target of cyber-attacks and to protect itself and its customers, the company suspended the BEL 24-7 app and the Utilicash services used by its Collection agents. BEL said it expected to restore Utilicash services by mid-afternoon today Friday and would restore its BEL 24-7 app by the middle of next week.

“This week, we have seen increased traffic and unusual activities that have caused us to raise our cyber security alert level,” BEL said in a press release issued on Friday afternoon.

“We immediately put measures into effect to seek out and remove any suspicious actors and programs in our IT systems and implemented further preventative action, including the suspension of the BEL 24-7 app and Utilicash services used by our Collection agents.

BEL said that like most modern companies with a well-developed IT infrastructure that interfaces with external parties, the company experiences regular attempts by external sources to infiltrate its IT systems.

BEL said that while its Cyber Security Systems are configured to identify and protect against outside threats, its staff is also trained to do likewise, but added that out of an abundance of caution, the company hired an expert external cyber security firm to support their investigations.

“To the best of our knowledge, no customer information has been compromised, but we will continue to investigate,” BEL said.

The utility company said that with the reestablishing of Utilicash services used by its Collection Agents by Friday afternoon, May 19, customers will not have to present their account number when paying bills as they have had to do over the past few days.

BEL apologized for the inconvenience but promised “to keep you updated as we continue to take action to protect against cyber threats and restore services back to normal”.



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