The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia reported This month, hackers demanded a ransom which the government refused to pay. The office of Vanuatu’s chief information officer did not respond to repeated requests for comment by phone, text and email.

Although cyberattacks are not directed at governments, they can be devastating. “every day,” It is very unusual for their systems not to be taken down. “invariably governments are pretty good with cybersecurity,” Nigel Phair is the director for enterprise at The Institute for Cyber Security, University of New South Wales.

According to Mr. Phair, hackers usually target sensitive data for which a government is likely to pay. “If it’s highly sensitive tax information, or social security or health information or some part of the prime minister’s department — that’s more likely to elicit a favorable response for the criminals rather than an I.T. system which just, for example, looks after the mowing schedule for local parks.”

Carsten Rudolph, deputy dean at the faculty of I.T. Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Rudolph said that it is difficult for Pacific Island countries to keep a cybersecurity staff capable of meeting the current challenges.

(*3*) he said. “So we cannot just look at cybersecurity just as an issue that is not connected to all these other issues.”

Consultant Mr. Craig said it was “disappointing” that Vanuatu’s government did not have more extensive contingency plans for keeping services going in the event of a prolonged network outage.

“Some departments have been good, they’ve immediately gone on their social media and said ‘these are the alternative Gmail accounts for our staff,’” Mr. Craig spoke. “Other departments — no, I wouldn’t have any idea of how to communicate with them.”