back to article Death in paradise: 'Cyber attack' takes out national government's IT

Eeek! A nation’s entire government is staggering to its feet after being shut down for a week due to a "cyber attack". The nation in question is Sint Maarten, an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is otherwise known as the southern "Dutch bit" of the Caribbean island Saint Martin and has an area of a …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Pictures are all wrong

    That place got the equivalent of a nuclear strike courtesy of Hurricane Irma last year. There is no way in hell the government offices look like this only half a year after that.

    More like this: https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/hurricane-irma/3/

    Pretty bad run of bad luck for a very nice spot in the Carribean. It has been on my "radar" for a long time, unfortunately the only reasonable flights from Europe are Air France/KLM where "reasonable" is a definitive oxymoron.

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Same

      I thought it'd be a nice semi-retirement spot, live and work from the French (EU) side but take advantage of the English speaking Dutch side. It was a shame to see what Irma did to the place and I think the coverage has been woefully inadequate on European news channels.

    2. Solviva

      Re: Pictures are all wrong

      What's unreasonable about the flights?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pictures are all wrong

        What's unreasonable about the flights?

        Air France.

        1. Solviva

          Re: Pictures are all wrong

          "Air France."

          You bundled in KLM though... despite the same holding company owning them they do have their very own distinct qualities and personalities, well KLM has. Air France mostly lacks both.

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Pictures are all wrong

        What's unreasonable about the flights?

        Air France being Air France of course is the primary issue.

        The secondary is that it requires a sleepover in either Paris or Amsterdam on the way out. The flight is too early to get there and connect. As a result the whole thing becomes astronomical in price for a family of 4.

        1. Solviva

          Re: Pictures are all wrong

          "The secondary is that it requires a sleepover in either Paris or Amsterdam on the way out. The flight is too early to get there and connect. As a result the whole thing becomes astronomical in price for a family of 4."

          KL789 leaves at 12.25.

          Depending where you are but most of the EU can get a KL flight in the morning to AMS to connect with that. Could be you live in the sticks and can't get to your airport early enough?

          1. PhilBuk

            Re: Pictures are all wrong

            Thanks to the particular skills of KLM, no saying where your luggage will end up.

            Phil.

  2. lglethal Silver badge
    Joke

    " All civil servants must report to work."

    What, you mean Thomas and Madie still need to go to work? Aww they were so looking forward to a day off...

    1. teknopaul Bronze badge

      This whole thing would be over in a couple of hours if they would lift the ban on flipflops* and sunglasses at work. Then Bri would pop round and run Norton.

      *per their facebook page

  3. Frank Zuiderduin

    ...an independent slice of the Caribbean island named “Saint Martin”

    Erm. No. Not a slice of Saint Martin. Saint Martin is the French part. Sint Maarten the Dutch. Neither is a slice of the other.

    And independent? Not really. It's part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Joke

      Can we settle for Caribbean Belgium, then ?

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Seriously, I hate to write this, but the patch of land in the Caribbean is called "Saint Martin" in English, "Saint-Martin" in French and "Sint Maarten" in Dutch, Yes that whole Island has different names in different languages, whodathunk.

      That island is divided in two, with a Dutch-speaking autonomous state* that is a member of the Kingdom of The Netherlands and French-speaking part which belongs to France.

      To quote the Dutch wikipedia:

      Sint Maarten (Frans: Saint-Martin, Engels: Saint Martin) is een eiland in de Caraïbische Zee (emphasis mine)

      * I use terminology as on the French wikipedia page, you can try and amend the article if you so wish

    3. JLV Silver badge

      It's not anymore. Fully independent since 2010, though I am sure they have financial support/defense arrangements in place. Own money, Guilder, own laws - no (legal) cannabis in St Maarten.

      St Martin, French, is still really French, including Euros.

      As to slice, well kinda awkward to talk about a half as there is no overall island name to St Martin/Maarten.

      Unlike say Hispaniola for Haiti n Dominica's island.

      actually, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Martin even supports El Reg, though I've rarely heard St Martin in a context meant to encompass both. The Dutch, for one, wouldn't dream of doing so.

      Flights? Charters, never flag carriers. Air France's always been a gouge there.

      Island was divided in 1648 and avoided all Euro wars since. Wags have it the division was by country representatives heading of in opposite directions on the coast. Wherever they'd meet opposite would the border. Legend has it the French runners got the Dutch really drunk the night before, hence much bigger French side.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Unlike say Hispaniola for Haiti n Dominica's island.

        The island of Hispaniola is split between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispaniola

        Dominica is an entirely separate island. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominica

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Damnit! I even looked up Hispaniola in wiki to make sure I got its spelling right. Sooooo confusing.

  4. adam payne Silver badge

    All civil servants must report to work

    so that we can re-train you in how to spot email attachments you really don't want to open.

  5. Unshakeable

    InfoSec contractor here....

    And now waits for the advert for Information Security Professionals to come out and help remediate some of the issues.

    /family holiday through the business this summer anyone ?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      InfoSec Sub Contractor there ....

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    2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: InfoSec contractor here....

      [...waiting] for the advert for Information Security Professionals to come out...

      This was the first thing that crossed my mind, tbh. I've worked in worse locales for sure.

      1. Colabroad

        Re: InfoSec contractor here....

        I'm just a support monkey rather than infosec, but moving to the Caribbean was hands down the best decision I've made in my adult life.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Death in Paradise?

    Detective Kris Marshall was asked to help with find the culprits, but apparently he's left that series and Ardal O'Hanlon is doing it now.

    The good news is that O'Hanlon has offered to head up the investigation. He assures us that he's doing it in character- the bad news being that the character in question is Father Dougal McGuire.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Death in Paradise?

      Does Ardal O'Hanlon ever play any character other than Ardal O'Hanlon?

  7. jwa

    Electricity

    Hard as it is to belive on such a tiny island but the Dutch half runs on 110 volts and the French on 230 volts.

  8. c1ue

    A couple of interesting anecdotes about the unusual legal status of the French and Dutch sides of Saint Martin:

    1) Thieves on one side can flee to the other. It isn't far and there is no border at all other than flags on the side of the road

    2) Immigration is different: some nationalities can fly into the Dutch side without a visa but not the French side. Found this out a hard way as a person I was traveling with was informed they were on the French side illegally - excursions to Antigua require a passport and constitute and international border crossing.

    The Dutch side is ridiculously expensive, food wise, the French side is amazingly cheap especially vs. the Caribbean in general.

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