May 23, 2024

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Hackers hit US health agency during coronavirus crisis


Yahoo was just the highest profile attack this year — there were others, including adult dating and entertainment company FriendFinder losing the data of more than 412 million user accounts. Really, from a security perspective, we got our butts kicked left and right. Beyond simple hacks, 2016 saw the rise in ransomware, where a hacker will lock up your files and demand money in exchange for returning access. Unlike other ransom cases, authorities actually recommend you just pay up. Fourteen hospitals alone have been held hostage this year. Experts, meanwhile, raised concerns that anything with a connection could be hacked. Heck, even connected vibrators aren’t safe. 

James Martin/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

As government staff and healthcare workers scramble to respond to the widening pandemic of the coronavirus  the US Health and Human Services Department discovered hackers attacked its systems Sunday night. Bloomberg, which reported the attack citing anonymous sources, said the hackers seemed focused on slowing the agency’s response to the crisis, but “didn’t do so in any meaningful way.”

Bloomberg said the hackers don’t appear to have taken any data, but instead attempted to sew confusion by sparking rumors of a national quarantine. The National Security Council sent a tweet late Sunday in part to halt those rumors, the sources said.

The government agency didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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